Friday, March 23, 2018

Grieving for My Brother, A guest post

You are here: Home » Grieving for My Brother, A guest blog post

March 23, 2018

A good friend and mentor lost his brother to cancer this past Monday. He wrote this on Facebook. I loved it and requested if I could share it. He obliged, thanks Randy. - Chris 

I stopped posting and doing much of anything on Facebook about a year ago. Facebook had become too much to deal with. Before I left I had posted several profiles that I called my "Good Person" posts. They were short essays on people who I admired and who had positive influences on my life. Today I return, temporarily, to write about someone I have long admired, and in whom I have always been proud. I hope I can do justice to him and his memory.

My brother, Ed, was a man to admire. Although, while we were growing up I often wondered if he would mature enough to be a man. I should have never worried. We spent our childhood in Adrian, Michigan. Living in a place where, on a summer day, you could leave the house in the morning, stop by for lunch at noon and not be seen again until dinnertime. No worries about evil doers or calamities. A setting only missing band concerts in a park and cold lemonade from a wooden stand manned by 9 year olds. And sometimes we had that too. Ed was my "kid" brother. As we grew to adulthood we shared an apartment, laughed and fought, and rested in the constant knowledge that we would always be there for each other.

Ed left Michigan after high school and never looked back. He attended college in New York and soon after convinced the love of his life, his precious Jill, to marry him. We ended up living over a thousand miles from our home town, but only a little less than 200 miles apart. Ed drifted for a short while for a job/career, but soon, with help from Jill, realized he needed to be the man he was destined to be. He took a job as an electrician's apprentice and eventually earned first his journeymen's certificate and then his Master electrician license. He headed Construction crews building everything from water plants to restaurants. He was very good at what he did and eventually became a county electrical inspector and plans reviewer. He was widely known for his amazing knowledge of electrical codes and construction.

Meanwhile Jill and daughter Alicia had the love and care of a husband and father who took great pride in his family. Houses were bought and sold. Churches were joined and served. Friends were made and cherished. Ed was a friend to so many and a help to all who asked.

In December of 2017 Ed and Jill hosted a re-dedication of their love. Friends and family gathered from all over the country to be witness to the continuing love. A beautiful ceremony was followed by a feast fit for a king and then a dance that Ed shared with his bride every night.

Ed took me aside that day and told me the secret he had learned. The trouble swallowing and the pain that he was experiencing....was esophageal cancer. My "kid" brother was strong and was a fighter, and he intended to win this fight. When I saw him next he had lost a terrible amount of weight and was weakened by the disease. His voice was a whisper and he tired easily. I was scared, but he was calm. He was fighting. The cancer had metastasized to many parts of his body. But Ed was fighting. On last Tuesday Ed was admitted to the hospital with pneumonia and embolisms in his lungs. He was too weak to stand and although he was sharp, and fighting, I was so very, very afraid. I promised to return on Saturday with my family. We came, brothers and sisters, nieces and nephews. Ed was too weak to speak but a precious few words at a time. I was afraid, but Ed was calm. Ed left us on Monday morning. He fought the good fight and earned his eternal rest.

I miss my brother so dearly. I think now of the wasted opportunities to see him. Opportunities I no longer can use. As I stood at his bedside I told my brother words that I hoped were comfort to him. I let Ed know that I was proud of him and that he had shown me the way to be a man. I told him that he was loved far more than he could imagine. And then I saw my brother for the final time. The day he died the world lost some light. It's a darker and colder place. A better place because he was here. A sadder place because he no longer is. You, my brother, were such a good person.

To my friends and family, love each other, find peace in your hearts, and never miss the chance to tell those who are important to you that you love them.

Celebrating Nico's birthday at the ice skating rink. February 24, 2018. Doing what Randy wants. Celebrating life, even in death. Thanks again, Randy.

                                          © copyright 2018 Captain Imperfecto, LLC. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

I'll Go First

You are here: Home » I'll Go First

Nico, Christopher and Captain being goofy on the couch. February 27, 2018.

February 27, 2018

I’ll go first, to show you that it’s okay to let go.

I'll go first, so you won't be scared.

I’ll go first, to make sure things are all right on the other side. Then someday, a long time from now, I’ll guide your way.

I’ll go first, and when you feel that gentle breeze upon your face, it is to remind you that I remembered all the I love you's, you have told me throughout my life.

I’ll go first, my soul was surrounded in the butterflies that you marveled at when you wished that I was there.

I’ll go first, soaring on the wings of the bird that came up to you out of nowhere while you wondered if I was there with you.

I’ll go first, and when you contemplate the meaning of life as you gaze out into the sea you’ll see the beauty of what life can be and know that I was there to comfort you so you can find peace.

I’ll go first, and be the thoughts in your mind while you’re walking on that mountain trail and comforting you as you cry.

I’ll go first, to remind you how fragile life is and interject your thoughts of how you should live your life to its fullest. 

I’ll go first, so that you may learn what grief is like and once you have healed you can share your experience with those who need to understand loss the most.  

I’ll go first, but I will not be gone forever. I will see you again, someday. 

Captain Imperfecto, writing. February 24, 2018.

© copyright 2018 Captain Imperfecto, LLC. All rights reserved.

**Dedicated in memory of the children and adults who died at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

Please be kind to one and other.

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

The Ass

You are here: Home » The Ass

Nico and Christopher at the South Florida Fair. January 14, 2018

January 31, 2018

From my early age I couldn't refer to the man who would be my step dad by his real name. His name was the name not to be spoken in front my my father. According to my dad the man who took my mother away from him would be forever known as, The Ass. I just found out that The Ass, has died.I hadn’t seen him in many years but it doesn't affect how I remember his life.

You see when I was very young my mom left my dad for The Ass. I suppose there was a lot of animosity brewing over the years between my parents but I was 2 years old when their break up occurred so it might as well have been another lifetime for me.

The Ass was the opposite of my dad. My father is a workaholic. He still works two jobs this very day. I talk with him and see him but my time spent with him is like being on my very own time clock.

“Hi, dad,” punching in. “Bye, dad,” punching out.

The Ass on the other hand was athletic. He played football very well. Played golf exceptionally well (no mistake he looked just like Arnold Palmer, he sure played like him.) And he enjoyed the outdoors. During my childhood with him and my early 20’s The Ass showed me how to play sports, fish, snorkel, ski, golf and camp.

I remember when he held the back part of my bicycle seat as if it were a football and he ran like a star running back of an American football team who just cleared the defensive line and was headed into the open field. His pounding feet struck the asphalt as he ran along side of me and pushed me along. The soles of his white Reebok sneakers rotated as quickly as my feet could peddle and the black tires of my bike smoothly sailed off as he let go. I was finally able to ride a bike without my training wheels.

The Ass got me, all of my brothers really, a job at the Inverrary Golf Course. The original home of, Jackie Gleason’s Honda Classic. We worked together, talked together and enjoyed our lunch together. We spent months perfecting my golf club grip. I had fun working there.

I was around when my mother talked to him on the phone when he was by his father’s bedside watching him die. My mom listened to the Preacher give last rites. I heard them cry. I was too young and dumb to understand his father's death but I will never forget the car ride up to Titusville to help him pack his mom’s belongings who passed away years later.

He told me the stories of growing up across from the rocket launch pads in the heyday of NASA when spaceflight was in its infancy. He boasted how he watched all the Apollo rockets make their way into space. “Hell, I didn’t even know they were having a launch one night until the rocket was lit and it shook me off the toilet seat.”

But it was his statement on our way home from his mom's house that would have a profound affect on me for the rest of my life.

“It’s a weird feeling, Chris. When both your parents are dead. When my parents were alive, no matter what happened in my life, I could always go home. And not necessarily live with them. Just go home and talk to them. Figure things out. But now all that is gone. I feel like an orphan.”

I moved on past his derogatory name, The Ass. On that day we were having Thanksgiving dinner. I asked my dad to come in and he said, "if you mom will have me, I will." All of us had Thanksgiving dinner. My dad's animosity went away. 

But now that Edward has died I feel sad I did not have the closure with him so I could thank him for the things I learned about him and from him. Share with him the memories, like helping my study my spelling words. Explaining to me what having a Green Thumb meant by showing me how to cut the grass. or building my moms greenhouse. How to fish from the beach, jetties and piers. How he learned how to crab in the Chesapeake Bay and passed on the lessons of cooking and eating blue crabs.

About 6 months ago I searched for Edward, Ed, Ned, Eddie. But I could not find him. We found out about his death when his son found my sister on Facebook.

Life brings people together for one reason or another. Of course they come and go and we pay no mind to the ones who left because we are all so caught up in our own lives to realize that time is fleeting and with every new day there’s a chance tomorrow will never come. My experience is the perfect example on how us human beings take the miracle of life for granted.

I thought I would have time to find Edward and tell him everything that I just wrote. But that moment is gone.  I must now deal with the regret of not telling him thanks for being, a dad. I assumed life would always give me the time for that. But this is not to be. Edward, thanks for being a dad to me. I hope that rocket ship took you to your parents so you can feel at home again.

Captain Imperfecto and Christopher at the fair he's like 6'8" in this photo!
January 14, 2018.

#Ass #Death #Love #parents

© copyright 2018 Captain Imperfecto, LLC. All rights reserved.

Friday, December 29, 2017

2017 New Year's Resolution

You are here: Home » 2017 New Year's Resolution

Boys having fun before seeing Santa Claus. December 15, 2017.

December 29, 2017

Well, if nothing tragically happens to me in the next few days, like death. I have lived out another year. Goodbye 2017 and now onto the year, 2018.  Let the champagne flow into my champagne flute and may the confetti rain down upon on me as if I was swinging on a pole at some sordid strip club. Let the New Year’s resolutions commence.

Wow, 2018 is here and only two more years until this decade come to a close. It is already hard fathom a year coming to a close. As evident by the comments we hear at least half the year gone, “Man can you believe it’s Halloween already. Wow, Thanksgiving already? Damn, it’s Christmas.”

But I’m even more taken a back when the decade is nearing its expiration. At least I will be able to review it again when VH1 plays the television show, “I Love the 2010’s.” 10 years nearly gone. That is more dramatic than closing a year, like 2017!

What is great about this moment of my life, in this time, right here in this very second, during each key stroke of this sentence I can be thankful that all of my family and friends made it through the past year as well. For that, I’m grateful because if you have seen any news stories this year or have lost a dear loved one, you know all too well that it is hard to make it during a full year.

Reflecting back on the past year I know we will be showered with montages of famous people who died. Tom Petty, John Heard, Bill Paxton, just to name a few that had an impact on me during my lifetime, in some-sort-of-way.

But we should not forget about the horrific deaths in #LasVegas #Route91, The #Charlottesville Heather Heyer, #Texaschurchshooting, #FortLauderdaleairport shooting, #LincolnCountyshooting.

They say it’s good to age like fine wine. Aged to perfection and enjoyed once we maximize our peak. We will be wiser and have much more insight into life. Pop the cork, let it breathe and then chug what life is offering because you’re a wise older person. So with that sentiment in mind I do my best to live in the moment and taking sips of my aged wine and enjoy the fruits of my labor. I'm still honoring my 2017 New Year's resolution since it isn't over yet! 

When I’m not being narcissistic about where I am in this life. In this moment. At this second. I reflect on the family and friends who I lost in the past decades. Just years ago I could hug my grandmothers, talk to my friend, or have the birth mother of my children here to see those 2 boys grow. It is sad. Did I say wine? On second thought pass the whisky this nostalgia is killing me.

As another decade encroaches and with another New Year’s just days away from closing out 2017. I will live day by day and be grateful that I can talk to the ones here who also made it out of 2017. Trust me, there is nothing more hard on your emotions than talking to someone today and then they are gone forever the next day. What will make it much harder is a year from now when you reflect on the closing of 2018 you will not believe how normal things were in 2017 and how your whole life changed in an instant because you lost someone. All you will want to do it go back to the days when life seemed simple. Good health and good fortune is paramount to happiness. Good health and good fortune go hand and hand.

Closing out 2017 with sips of champagne is a fitting end to what you accomplished during the year. You will make yourself a New Year resolution about losing weight, quitting smoking or some other vice, or just being a better person. But when 2017 closes and you enter the golden gates of 2018 just make one resolution. Love, live and enjoy 2018 with your family friends until the last day of the year. You never know what is lurking in the months ahead and who you will remember the most because you miss them so much. The good thing is you can hug them and tell them you love them this very second. Happy New Year 2017. My resolution is still in effect until the very last day. And I resolve to live out 2018! Cheers! Here's to good things. 

**I know some people were distraught during 2017. Whether is was political, or emotional people didn’t enjoy this past year. But always remember. Your life matters to you more than anyone. Make your life a happy one because YOU are in control of that. 

Captain Imperfecto enjoying life. December 27, 2017

© copyright 2017 Captain Imperfecto, LLC. All rights reserved.

Monday, December 25, 2017

Christmas Miracle

You are here: Home » Christmas Miracle

Christopher and Nico Christmas morning, December 25, 2017

December 25, 2017

*fictional story

Confined to my wheelchair I feel depressed and upset that I can’t participate in many things that people who can walk take for granted. The plastic of my seat sticks to my skin. I can’t move around objects without worrying that I will knock something over. And people just don’t know what to do when I’m around. Do they help me? Do they not help me? They are so confused. Yes, help me.   

Every year my Christmas wish is to lift myself off this steal frame and walk under my own power. What I wouldn’t give to feel the blades of grass tickle the bottom of my feet. I’m sure I would giggle. Unsure if it was due to the grass or the pure excitement of walking. Christmas seems so right to ask for this special gift because of the magical atmosphere around me. And yet every Christmas will pass and I know I will still be stuck in my wheelchair. But that won’t persuade me not to ask next year again.

Desperate to have my wish come true I went to see the mall Santa. I told him “all I want to do is walk for a brief moment.”

He said, “ well young man, Santa can’t work miracles but I sure will try to accommodate you.”

But years went by and it never happened. Once I thought my wish wouldn’t count because I wasn’t actually sitting on his lap. So the very next year I went back to see that mall Santa and demanded that his elves pick up out of my chair and place me on his lap. “Santa cannot work miracles,” he quipped, “nevertheless I will try again. I don’t want to disappoint you. Although I think ultimately you can only be disappointed with me.”

I left my mall Santa sad and depressed. I wheeled my chariot down the sidewalk onto 23rd Street and with all my strength wheeled up to the top of Katherine Bridge. I did not expect to come back. I stopped my wheelchair close to the edge. The water did no move or even ripple. It as if the powerful river held it’s breath. Not ready for another jumper. “It’s okay water,” I said. “I can’t even jump.”

Staring at the black water below me I thought that no one or anything was going to help me. There was no such thing as a miracle to make things better for me. The air was cool and crisp. My ears felt as numb as my legs. It was so cold. Christmas Eve was happening without me. Another year in this chair. I can’t bear it.   The black sky gave way to a glimmer of something shinning from the top down. I

“What are you doing there any of the bridge,” of voice spoke to me in the cool breeze.

“Oh I don’t know. Just thinking. Thinking about my life.”

“What are you thinking about?” The subtle little boys voice asked. 

I looked around trying to find out where the mysterious voice was coming from and up in the rafters of the bridge amongst the twinkling lights of the far out stars there was a miracle of Christmas. I knew who it was. The voice was the one thing I had longed to hear me through all my prayers.

The miracle of Christmas wasn’t really a shape or form. I just felt peace and serenity surround me and all of a sudden I felt safe. This mysterious voice came a long way from the spirit of Christmas up from above in the land of Christmas.

“I really want to walk,” I started. “I want to take advantage of what people take for granted everyday. Every year I wish and pray to stand on my own legs. And every year I don’t get it.”

“This will make you life complete?”

“It would be a start.”

The wind twirled around me rapidly like a tornado. Like hands the wind lifted me out of the chair and spun me around. Night turned to day. I was walking amongst the people. I  was dancing on the water. Running on the riverbanks. I floated in the air as my toes danced on the grass below. My footprints were left in the sand. A trail of one foot after another footprint tracked my path of pure ecstasy.

“Are you in pure joy?” the voice of Christmas asked.

“Yes,” I shouted with glee.

“Did you the laughter of the children as you strolled through the park?”


“The wind blowing off the lake onto your face as you stood on that riverbank.

“Did you taste the eggnog as you sipped it at the party? Or enjoy the candy cane when you walked through the Christmas tree lot? Did you watch the waves of the ocean fill in your footprints as the water flowed onto the shore?

This walking is a one-time event. This is your Christmas miracle. But it only last for this day. But sadly you will return to where your place is at this time of your life. Miracles don’t last forever.”

I was sad. This wasn’t going to last. But I realized all the things that I had but took for granted. The Christmas miracle woke me up to what I had forgotten. I may be stuck in a wheelchair but there was so much I could do. Even in my chair. I just had forgotten to pay attention. I was so angry at everything else I failed to see what I had.

I was whisked back to my chair. And my Christmas miracle was over. I wheeled myself away from the edge of the bridge and allowed gravity to roll me down to the bottom. I had a new perspective of life and I was happy I was able to live again to see another Christmas.

Captain Imperfecto feeling pretty good at the Christmas Party I hosted, December 23, 2017

I wish everyone a very Merry Christmas, 2017!

© copyright 2017 Captain Imperfecto, LLC. All rights reserved.