By Lawrence Lopata
In loving memory of George - 1928-2008
My son is 9 plus months and his name is Sammy. No one really knows what it feels like to be a father until they are one and I am no different. It is hard to put into words the range of feelings that he has evoked in me. To this point I have lived my life with a youthful twist, basically as the son to my parents. Don't get me wrong I am an adult but on the inside I still feel young.
Sammy has altered this dynamic in a very good way. I still cannot believe that this wide eyed "mini me" is mine. How when we are hanging out sitting on the stoop or playing in the nursery I never want those moments to end. Watching as he evolves and comes online is truly a wonder of life that all should experience. My son, my son, my beautiful son.
But there is a strong contrast to this my first Father's Day; one that holds multiple dimensions of symbolism, transition and empowerment. I have just received the call that my stepfather of the past 34 years has passed away at 81 years of age. In many ways he was the ying to my father's yang.
George was a street smart ex NYPD, bartender and all around guys guy. He was the man in the room that every woman yearned for and every other guy wanted to be. He took me to my first football game and gave me my first taste of beer. I am not sure how his passing will effect me in the coming days but for now it gave me a moment of reflection on all the good and bad moments that embodied our time together. One thing about George is I always felt safe and proud around him. If Sammy can feel the same way about me that would truly be a wonderful thing for both Sammy, myself and George. Wherever you are now George, I want to take this time to thank you for taking the time to be there for a scared, angry, hyper boy with a good heart. Know that your kindness and being has prepared me to guide and support Sammy along whatever path he chooses.