My father was born in Mattapan 83 years ago today. It’s the first time I’ve marked his birthday in a while. He died almost 16 years ago but I’ve been thinking about him a lot lately.
As a parent, I’ve pretty much tried to copy his blueprint. I’ve tried to be there for all my children and to be involved with their activities. I’ve been lucky enough to share some amazing memories over the last 19 years following that simple example. Every time I go to a practice or a game I’m trying to make him proud. Every time a former player calls me “coach” I hear a faint echo in my head from 40 years ago.
My father was a good man. He wasn’t a perfect man, or a rich man, but he was decent and kind and caring, which was far more important.
My fondest wish is that right now, at this very moment, Kevin and my dad are having a beer together, maybe my mom baked a cake with butter cream frosting and Kev is firing up some wings on an open fire. Butch is prepping a steak while Petey hands out the shrimp. It’s a fine party. The sun is shining and they are all laughing.
Maybe my dad can teach Kev to play cribbage, we can have a tournament some day like we used to have during the summers in Brockton. They are both going to have to work on their game to beat me, but they have plenty of time.