I was born on October 23, 1981 at 7:32 pm. I entered the world like most children except for one very important thing, there was only one parent in that room.
In the absence of my father, I became very close to my grandfather, Hank. He was a World War II veteran who had served in the 1st Infantry Division and by all accounts a grumpy old man, who drank too much and had a stern attitude. But, not for me, I adored him and he adored me. I think I was a bit of a second chance for him to express love to his children in a way he couldn't when he was younger.
And, how could you resist my two year old face, looking for the love of a father, crawling on my hands and knees, barking and panting, pretending to be a puppy.
In November 1985, my grandpa, the closest man in my life lost his battle to lung cancer. At age 4, I lost the closest man in my life who was in my mind the father that I didn't have.