Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Flesh and blood

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13 comments:

Tony Rugare said...

Words just don't come to me other than beautiful. You have communicated an intimate story more vividly than I can describe. Havong gone thru by pass I have some appreciation of the anxiety of family members. Beautiful!

eviljwinter said...

Wow.

B.E. Earl said...

Oh man. Lost my father through similar and totally different circumstances the following July. Never had the courage to put it all down in words.

rraine said...

this brought me to tears, for your loss, and mine. you look like your dad, as i do mine. finding connections in unexpected places...

Anonymous said...

ow, ow, ouch.

Sorry for your loss.

RJ

Jon Moore said...

I lost my dad 24 years ago. Before he died he'd pissed off everybody he'd ever known for reasons that are none of y'alls business.
Bill O'Brien drove four hours one way to be at my dads funeral. He was the only non-family member to attend and there was damned little family. When he arrived, and I met him and thanked him for coming, he simply said "When I woke up this morning I knew where I needed to be". That was quite possibly the kindest thing anyone has ever done for me. I miss your dad too Erin.

John O'Brien said...

I do not have adequate words Erin. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. Your dad must have been a wonderful man. A decade can seem like such a long time, yet, yesterday. Thank you for sharing such a personal story and sharing your dad.

philbilly said...

Haven't remembered for some time now that my Old Man passed away 24 years ago. I had to use a calculator to do the math just now.

Like your Old Man, he was a Maker, a doer, a creator of things with his hands, not as his profession, by a long shot, but by necessity first, and also, more importantly, because he could. I thought of him today when I found myself at a Sears store buying a deepwell 3/8" drive 3/4" six-point socket. It doesn't matter where the one I used to have got to, and I may even find it now that I've bought new. The thought of my Old Man was how Sears always had the goods back then, whatever the project, and Forest City had the wood. They were as reliable as he.

And even though I spied the glaring globalisation what had crept into the quality of many items there, fit and finish not being what our dads enjoyed, there was a vestigial order of what was once American hardware store derigeur, suspended on bar-coded and data-mined peg boards throughout the tool section. Measuring instruments, taps, dies, a half-dozen grades of buffing compound, 1156 single filament 12V bulbs...
No matter how hard the bean counters have tried to proffer the fast movers and discontinue 4 ounce ball peen hammers(I call that a carburetor hammer),there by God they still hang. Try as it might, offshore modernity has not yet depleted the functionality embedded in a corner of a corporate profit center that was once a destination for the Makers. Because our Old Man knew how to get shit done, and Sears was open on Sunday. Just in case.

Anonymous said...

Love you, tiger...keep leading with your chin, you'll be OK...

MR

Erin O'Brien said...

I've read and reread these comment and just love them all. Thank you for the condolences and you surely have mine in return.

Tony, I sure hope that bypass was your last.

Thanks, Jim.

Earl, I sat on this essay for years and finally pulled it up for the 10-year anniversary. I won't lie, it tears my gut apart to read it.

Hi Raine, I guess we carry on for them in subtle and obvious ways. You can really see the resemblance between Dad and me in the last two pix in this post.

Hi RJ and thanks.

Oh Jon, those two guys sure did understand each other. I guess we have the memories. They would love that you stop by here and tangle in the comments section once in a while. You look so much like your dad.

John, thank you for stopping in and reading and commenting.

Phil. You no doubt remember the old Sears on Lorain's west side. Or maybe the one that used to be in the MOCA building on Carnegie. I remember the candy counter. I remember the smell of nuts and popcorn. Yeah, yeah.

Thanks, Michael. Inhale, exhale. Repeat.



Laura Maylene said...

That piece is stunning and startling and beautiful and sad. Thank you.

Bill said...

I just clicked on October 24, 2002. Pretty damn impressive daughter you have, Mr. O'Brien. That's the kind of thing that gives a dad peace of mind.

Erin O'Brien said...

I just unwrapped my new iPod Classic, which cost $250 and has 160 GB of memory.

In 1993, my brother John purchased a Mac Color Classic for about $1400. It had a memory of 4 MB's, expandable to 10. The screen measured 10 inches.

Four megs was as far as John got.

Four megs is exactly how much memory it takes to sting my eyes with tears.