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My Old Man
2007-01-16 06:43
by Alex Belth
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to bronxbanterblog.com.

My father had a heart attack when he was 39. He continued drinking for about a half-dozen more years and finally quit when he realized that if he kept it up he would die. He still smoked for many years after that but he stopped that too when he had quadruple bypass surgery less than ten years ago. Since then, I have thought a lot about my father's death--how he will die, when he will die, and what I will do when it happens. But I never imagined that he would go as peacefully as he did when he left this world yesterday at 4:20 p.m. surrounded by his family and friends in the CCU at St. Luke's on Amerstam Avenue, two blocks north of the massive (and still unfinished) church, St. John the Divine.

My dad was a generous and loving man, thoughtful and considerate. He was also volatile and angry too. When he laughed, it was not softly, but forcefully and loudly; his entire body would shake, and you could see the red rising up through his face. (When Emily first saw him laugh hard she thought he was going to drop dead right then and there.) Pop led the league in righteous indignation. You want to know how corrupt the alternate side of the street parking rules are? Dad was the expert. One time, when we were walking across 79th street and West End Avenue (with the light), a car suddenly swept in front of us and pop kicked the hubcap off the back tire--while the car was still moving. Dude stops his car and gets out, and he's got my dad beat by at least four, five inches. But after he got nose-to-nose with the old man, he realized this was not a fight he was going to win. (I remained on the sidewalk with that funny combination of fear, mortification, and pride.)

I had a hard time with my dad when I was a kid. He was a troubled guy for many years and he took out a lot of his frustrations on his family (not to mention himself). But I grew up, and so did he in a way. I mean, by the time I reached my twenties, he was no longer a hard ass in the same way he had been earlier. Just before his bypass he called me at work one day and out-of-the-blue apologized for being so tough on me for all those years. I knew he was saying it for himself, but I was still touched. More importantly, over the past few years, I have been able to forgive him. I know in my heart that he never did anything intentionally to hurt me. Like all of us, he was not perfect, and he did his best. He might not have always known how to care for his children very well, but I never had any doubts how much he loved us.

My dad was never shy about telling his kids that he loved them. In that regard, he was the person I always turned to when I needed comfort and affection (he's one of the all-time great huggers); not advice, necessarily, but unqualified empathy. For instance, when my fiancee Emily was in the hospital a few years ago, I came home after seeing her one day and burst-out crying. My dad is the first person I called.

If you were in his family--and I include the many friends he had in this category--he would do virtually anything he could to help you out. Need a cabinet installed? Call Don. Help with your computer? Don is your man. A ride to the airport? Pop is there. In fact, I can't imagine how most of my family is going to get to and from the airport now. He strongly believed in picking people up. It was a small gesture, but one that shows his compassion and his generosity. Former Yankee GM Gabe Paul used to say that the mark of a good general manager was being able to make a phone call at 3:00 and not piss the guy on the other end of the line off. My dad was the guy you could call at 3:00 and ask a favor, and he'd be there, no questions asked.

Pop was proud of my budding career as a writer. Not so long ago, I decided to dedicate a book that I am editing of Pat Jordan's greatest sports writing to him. Jordan is my dad's kind of writer, a storyteller with a direct, clear prose style. I thought it would be a nice surprise for dad to dedicate the book to him, even though the book isn't going to be released until next winter. That's a long time to wait for a surprise, so I just called him up and told him about it over the phone. Why wait? He was thrilled and bragged about it to his friends. I can't tell you how happy I am that I made that call.

Dad was at home on Sunday night with my step-mother. They have had an on-again/off-again relationship for more than twenty years, but they have been on-again for the past few years and it was clear that they were together for good this time. In fact, I don't ever remember my dad being happier than he's been for the past year or so. He fixed his favorite pasta dish--spaghetti with shrimp--and then he and his wife settled-in to continue their "Homocide" marathon (I had given them the entire box set of the show for the holidays). Not long after, he clutched his chest and complained of tightness and then he collapsed, losing consciousness immediately.

My aunt called me at home as Pop was being rushed to the emergency room. I got in the car and picked-up my brother and my sister (who live within forty blocks of me) and we were at St. Luke's in a half-an-hour. We stayed through most of the night and the doctor's made it clear that the situation was grave. Dad's heart was extremely weak and there was a lack of oxygen to his brain for an extended period of time. Even if his heart did recover, we didn't know if his mind would. My sister and I left around 3 am and my brother stayed with our step-mom for the rest of the night. We returned the following morning, along with aunts, uncles and cousins. There was at least a dozen, maybe fifteen of us all told later in the day--some of his close friends, my mother and my step-father.

By the early afternoon, dad's heart-rate and blood pressure continued to drop and we realized he did not have long to live. Eventually, the doctors gave him morphine, we decided to pull the plug. My father died with his family and friends all around him, touching him, talking to him, crying together. It was one of the few times that he had everyone's undivided attention and wasn't talking, my step-mother joked.

It was beautiful in a way. I always thought that my dad would die alone, or that his righteous indignation would finally pick the wrong target, or that he'd get killed in a car accident (I haven't even mentioned the Upper West Side's answer to A.J. Foyt). I never would have thought it would be surrounded by his loved ones. It was like the Woody Allen version of "Wizard of Oz" with everybody there. He was at home, back in Kansas, which, in this case, happens to be the Upper West Side. And he was peaceful. When he finally let go, he looked calm. There isn't anything more I could have ever asked for, and I will always be grateful for how he left this world. All the love and generosity he gave out all these years, was right there with him at the end.

Goodbye, Pop. I love you very much and I know how much you loved me.

Comments (106)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2007-01-16 08:12:09
1.   Alex Belth
There will be a death notice for Pop in tomorrow's New York Times. It will list the place and times we are sitting Shiva for the public.
2007-01-16 08:18:08
2.   unmoderated
not much i can say. i think we all thank you for sharing, for pulling us closer than you can usually get in a community like this. you and your family are in my thoughts and prayers, alex.
2007-01-16 08:23:11
3.   Rob Middletown CT
My sympathies to you and yours. Well-written, btw.
2007-01-16 08:26:30
4.   Schteeve
You and your family have my sincere condolences. Be well.
2007-01-16 08:27:04
5.   C2Coke
Thanks for sharing Alex. My condolence to you and your family.
2007-01-16 08:30:05
6.   Mike from Hoboken
Alex, you have my deepest sympathy.
2007-01-16 08:33:33
7.   Derek Smart
I'm so sorry to hear of this, Alex, and for you and your family's loss. You are all in my thoughts.
2007-01-16 08:36:01
8.   Dimelo
My condolences, Alex. Great banter eulogy of your dad. It's great to read how your father grew in your eyes, as he started to right his wrongs. And how he made up for a lot of things with his big heart.

The tribute was sad but also filled with a lot of joy, too. Great balance and very touching.

2007-01-16 08:36:58
9.   wsporter
Please take care Alex, I will light our candle for you and your Dad.
2007-01-16 08:43:14
10.   Bob Timmermann
I'm very sorry for your loss, Alex. You have all my best in this difficult time.
2007-01-16 08:45:11
11.   Shaun P
My deepest condolences, Alex. I am so sorry for your loss.
2007-01-16 08:45:30
12.   domvjr
My sincerest sympathies,Alex to you and your family, on the passing of your father.

Take care!

2007-01-16 08:49:41
13.   Bama Yankee
Sorry to hear about your dad, Alex. You and your family are in my prayers.
2007-01-16 08:50:53
14.   Gabe D
Alex,

My thoughts go out to you and your family during this trying time.

2007-01-16 08:51:50
15.   willdthrill
Jeez Alex, this is rough. Your relationship with your father sounds a lot like the one I have with my father. Complex and volatile, and mellowing as the years goes by. I hope when the time comes for us to say goodbye, I would have the same grace and insight that you did and make peace with all of the memories, both good and bad. Thoughts and condolences are with you and yours.
2007-01-16 08:53:09
16.   nemecizer
Alex, my deepest sympathies for you loss.

Folks, perhaps we can take up a collection on the site for a small memorial for Alex's father?

2007-01-16 08:53:31
17.   OldYanksFan
My condolences Alex... it's always hard to lose a parent. There are usually so many 'couldas, shouldas and wouldas' running around the head.

I say this. The 2 most important things, crucial things even, is to feel loved by your Dad and to have been hugged/touched by him. If you got that, everything else is gravy, and you'll be OK.

2007-01-16 08:53:50
18.   BALCO Lab Rats
My sympathies to you and your family. I am very sorry for your loss.
2007-01-16 09:05:51
19.   rsmith51
My prayers are with you and your family, Alex. Sorry for your loss.
2007-01-16 09:06:52
20.   Iain
A fine tribute, Alex. My condolences on your loss.
2007-01-16 09:08:37
21.   dianagramr
Deepest condolences to you and your family, and thank you for sharing the intimacies of your relationship with your pop. I hope it was cathartic for you.
2007-01-16 09:17:17
22.   murphy
my condolences, alex.

my thoughts are on you and emily and the rest of your family today.

i am gonna go call my dad. thanks for reminding me how important he is.

2007-01-16 09:22:21
23.   smingers
My condolences, Alex. We've never met, but I'm thinking of you all the same.
2007-01-16 09:24:25
24.   The Mick 536
Stay strong as long as you need to. You be lucky to have Emily around. You had a Dad worth sharing with your friends. I shared a little of your loss reading whom he was to you. Ya don't have ta be a celebrity to be notable. He certainly was.
2007-01-16 09:26:17
25.   unpopster
My deepest condolences to you and your family, Alex. Like Murphy, I'm going to get on the horn with my dad right now.
2007-01-16 09:53:37
26.   Peter
My condolences, Alex, to you and your family. My own dad died over 11 years ago and I remember how difficult that was. I still miss him like crazy.
2007-01-16 09:54:17
27.   Rich Lederer
Alex, my heartfelt sympathies go out to you and Emily. Your tribute was beautiful. Personal and honest. I'll always remember our telephone conversation yesterday. Thanks for taking the time to call me.

Am glad that you will have the ever-lasting memories of all those hugs with your Pop and were able to share the dedication of your next book with him prior to his death.

2007-01-16 10:04:29
28.   Chyll Will
Beautiful, Alex. I feel it right here... Blessings to you and your whole family; your old man would be proud.
2007-01-16 10:08:46
29.   pistolpete
Amazing that you were able to pour your heart out so soon, and to all of us for that matter. I don't know if I could have gotten through it myself - not for a long long time anyway.

My condolences go out to you and your entire family. Dealing with death NEVER gets easier, it only gets tougher as you go through life and become attached to more and more souls in this great big world. But it does hurt the most with the people you've known the longest.

Take comfort in your new bride to be, and hopefully Yankees baseball can ease the pain somewhat in a few short months.

2007-01-16 10:08:54
30.   Yankee Fan In Boston
That was a touching tribute, Alex. He sounds like a great man to have known. My sympathies to you and your family.
2007-01-16 10:09:28
31.   SF Yanks
Sorry for your loss Alex. My prayers go out to you and your family.

My dad just went through a brief scare of prostate cancer and I told him all the things I needed to just in case. Luckily, he came out of it on the right end, but it was a scare I'll never forget. The support of my friends and family helped me to cope, just that much easier. I hope we here at the Banter can provide just a little comfort for you.

2007-01-16 10:14:03
32.   Jay Jaffe
I spoke briefly to Alex a short time ago. He sounds as though he's holding up remarkably well under the circumstances, coherent and even somewhat upbeat. This blog is a community, and I'm certain he appreciates the outpouring of support during this difficult time.

In the years I've had the pleasure of knowing Alex, we've had many a conversation about our relationships with our fathers and the way baseball figures into that relationship. Alex's experience with his dad was much more complicated than my own, but the two of them found rewards in their hard-won understanding. I know that's something which is comforting Alex right now, as is his ability to share the beauty of that with us via his writing.

My heart goes out to Alex and Emily, their family and friends. Hang in there.

2007-01-16 10:18:50
33.   DonnyBazeball
First time caller, long time listener. Felt compelled to register to the site after reading that. My deepest condolences to you, and thank you for sharing with your 2nd family.
2007-01-16 10:22:35
34.   bp1
A very touching tribute, Alex.

My most sincere condolences. May you all be at peace. I'll keep you in my thoughts.

2007-01-16 10:38:36
35.   Fred Vincy
Alex,

I am so very sorry to hear this. All my best to you and your family.

Fred

2007-01-16 10:44:44
36.   rbj
My condolences, Alex. I'm glad to hear that you two could reconcile and have a good relationship.

BTW, this is a really well written piece.

2007-01-16 10:45:15
37.   dtrain
Alex,

My thoughts and prayers go out to you and your family, too. My dad was just diagnosed with colon cancer last week, and it's gotten me thinking about a lot of the same things you mentioned in your first couple of sentences.

Thank you for sharing this beautiful tribute with all of us. Keep your head up.

Dennis

2007-01-16 10:52:52
38.   Sliced Bread
"Pop led the league in righteous indignation."

I'll bet he got a good laugh at that, Alex, and I'm sure your words meant as much to him as his hugs meant to you.

May your father rest in peace, and may all who loved him take comfort and joy in your memories of him.

"It was like the Woody Allen version of "Wizard of Oz" with everybody there."

That's beautiful.

2007-01-16 10:58:02
39.   jayd
A fine tribute, Alex. Simply written, straight from the heart and so worthy of your Dad.

God bless you and your family.

2007-01-16 11:03:49
40.   thelarmis
all the best to you & yours, alex.

thanks for sharing. chin up!

2007-01-16 11:04:17
41.   katysdad
My most sincere condolences. The following prayer has helped me from time to time and, from what you wrote, it sounds like it could apply to your dad:

As I stumble through this life,
help me to create more laughter than tears,
dispense more cheer than gloom,
spread more cheer than despair.

Never let me become so indifferent,
that I will fail to see the wonders in the eyes of a child,
or the twinkle in the eyes of the aged.

Never let me forget that my total effort is to cheer people,
make them happy, and forget momentarily,
all the unpleasantness in their lives.

And in my final moment,
may I hear You whisper:
"When you made My people smile,
you made Me smile."

-Anonymous-

2007-01-16 11:16:45
42.   rmd0311
My deepest and most sincere condolences go out to you and yours. I'm sure your father is in a better place today looking down on you with pride and joy.
2007-01-16 11:18:59
43.   Jim Dean
I'm very sorry for your loss, Alex. May the memories flow freely and may his empathy forever inspire your life.
2007-01-16 11:21:53
44.   Nick from Washington Heights
Alex, my deepest and sincerest condolences.
2007-01-16 11:30:25
45.   Andre
Sincere condolences. Almost brought me to tears thinking about my own dad (I probably would be crying if I wasn't at work).
2007-01-16 11:30:34
46.   TellMeTheScoreRickMonday
Condolences to you and your family. An incredible piece of writing--thank you, from a Dodger fan.
2007-01-16 11:40:36
47.   RIYank
I'm sorry, Alex. My dad drove up from NY to see me and my kids this weekend. I always feel like he'll be around forever, just as he's been around forever already.

Geez, I have tears in my eyes.

2007-01-16 11:43:18
48.   Sam DC
My condolences and best wishes to you and your family.

I lived my own version of this fourteen months ago and, as bad as it was, it sure did give me a moment to pause and appreciate all the people who care about and support me, and I have no doubt you are finding the same in spades.

take care -- sam

2007-01-16 11:44:49
49.   Dan-el
Alex,

My hearfelt condolences to you and yours at this time.

2007-01-16 11:50:21
50.   jkay
I am sorry for your loss. It sounds like you two were close which hopefully will ease some of your pain going forward.
Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2007-01-16 11:54:39
51.   LAT
Alex, very touching piece. You do your family proud.

I used to play golf with my father every Saturday morning, but as my kids got older and soccer games and other demands became more pressing I just couldn't devote 4-5 hours every weekend. I keep telling myself I should set one Sat. aside a month or sneak out of the office on a weekday afternoon, but I never do. There is always some [lame] excuse. However, because of you and your Pop I will call mine today and schedule a round or two. We will smoke a few cigars, he will conveniently forget a few strokes which I may or may not remind him about and inside I will be thanking you.

2007-01-16 12:15:04
52.   Adam B
My condolences to you and your family, Alex.
2007-01-16 12:20:08
53.   JoeInRI
My sympathies for your loss, Alex. My own father passed away when I was 8 and my lifelong regret is that I never got the chance to truly know him.

What I do remember, is that he was a passionate man, loved music and, too was volatile. Quick to anger and just as quick to calm down.

My family had a restaurant upstate, about an hour from the city.
One Friday night, my older brother wanted to go out with our cousin, instead of working in the kitchen. He was defiant, saying that my father couldn't make him work. Dad got so angry he threw a batch of freshly made meatballs at him, one after the other. My brother laughed at him, dodging, as the meat splattered against the wall. After a few minutes, my dad was laughing as well.

As others have said here, the maturity of your relationship and the memories that you will carry forever will help you through your grief.

God Bless.

2007-01-16 12:32:09
54.   Start Spreading the News
My condolences to you and your family.
2007-01-16 12:50:23
55.   yanklifer
I am sorry for your loss, Alex, you have my thuoghts and prayers.
2007-01-16 12:55:56
56.   mainmanmaitland
Sorry about your loss. My thoughts are with you and your family.
2007-01-16 13:01:58
57.   Beth
My condolences and thanks for this beautiful piece.
2007-01-16 13:02:25
58.   Javi Javi
That was a beautiful tribute Alex. My sincere condolences to you and your family.
2007-01-16 13:12:59
59.   rilkefan
Everybody here agrees on something for the first time.

Really sorry about your loss.

2007-01-16 13:27:32
60.   Simone
My condolences to you and your family, Alex.
2007-01-16 13:33:00
61.   Oscar Azocar
I am so sorry to hear about this. My condolences and prayers to you and your family, Alex.
2007-01-16 13:38:16
62.   Howie
So sorry for your loss, Alex. Great writing as always. My condolences to you and your family.
2007-01-16 13:48:54
63.   Orly Yarly NoWai
Mr. Belth, I am sincerely sorry for your loss. Though your father is gone, you and yours will always have memories of him for comfort. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

Matthew C. Roberts

2007-01-16 13:52:21
64.   Count Zero
Very sorry for your loss, Alex. Your dad sounds a lot like mine -- except mine never apologized.

I had many of those "funny combination of fear, mortification, and pride" moments with mine too. He could scare the crap out of anybody despite the fact that he was only about 5' 8". (OK, well he did have these GI-NORMOUS arms!) He spent his youth toting a gun in Latin American jungles -- one of the few Cubans who returned home to the US alive after the Bahia de los Cochinos.

I lost him in 1996 when he was only 59 -- diabetes, blind, both kidneys failing. Hard life, hard death. I made it halfway across the country to his bedside before he died. Toughest flight I ever made was the one coming back.

Man was he ever a Yankees fan! So many trips to the stadium as a child...

May those tough old guys all find peace in their own way before it's over.

2007-01-16 13:59:17
65.   Kels
Great story, sorry for your loss.
2007-01-16 14:04:12
66.   its430
Alex, my deepest sympathies to you and yours. May you continue to navigate life with such a profound ability to respect and illustrate love, family, and the wins and losses in life.
2007-01-16 14:16:19
67.   tocho
My condolences and prayers to your family and to you.
2007-01-16 14:18:15
68.   holmesy007
I'm sorry for your loss Alex. Bless you and your family. Thank you for sharing this with us
2007-01-16 14:23:55
69.   Saburo
Alex: My deepest condolences to you and your family.

And thank you for sharing so much.

2007-01-16 14:25:27
70.   RunningCane
A beautiful piece of writing. Hang in there Alex.
2007-01-16 15:03:23
71.   Zavo
My condolences to you and your family, Alex. Sorry for your loss.
2007-01-16 15:03:49
72.   Patrick
That was very touching, Alex. I'm sorry for your loss man.
2007-01-16 15:16:47
73.   ric
my condolences alex. its cool that you value his imperfections. it seems that sometimes those are the things that will be missed the most.
2007-01-16 15:18:28
74.   Matt B
So sorry for your loss, Alex. Excellent piece of writing - it's not easy to be clearheaded about those closest to us.
We're due for a lengthy chat, so I'll save the rest for then.
Be well.
2007-01-16 15:26:21
75.   bobtaco
I lost my father when I was 19, and it's not something you ever really get over, but time definitely helps. My condolences to you and your family as well.

In a country that tries to deny the existence and reality of death on some many levels, it sounds like your father had a really loving and special one, which is both beautiful and rare.

Thank you for sharing your wonderful tribute to him with all of us.

2007-01-16 15:28:40
76.   BklynBmr
Sincere condolences, Alex. Very sorry for your loss. He raised a good son, too.
2007-01-16 15:30:07
77.   ajd
Alex, so sorry to hear about this. My own father had a heart attack about a year ago and, while he's still with us, I am always mindful of what might have happened and treasure each day I still get with him.
2007-01-16 15:40:40
78.   rilkefan
The Nobel Prize lecture by Orhan Pamuk, which is about his writing and his father:
http://www.newyorker.com/fact/content/articles/061225fa_fact1

I found the penultimate paragraph (on page 2) very touching.

2007-01-16 15:58:23
79.   scareduck
Sincerest condolences, and a great eulogy.
2007-01-16 16:24:07
80.   joejoejoe
A nice tribute to your old man Alex. All my best to you and yours.
2007-01-16 16:43:38
81.   claybeez
Lovely and honest memorial to your father. I think all the fathers in this community are comforted to be enlightened to the powers of forgiveness inherent in our children and the deep love and esteem they have for us. Not only did you bring your relationship to life for us, you offer us inspiration for our own.
2007-01-16 16:56:03
82.   kylepetterson
That's awesome that you were able to be with you Dad when he passed. My real dad doesn't talk to me.

Like much of America, I was raised by a single Mom and later, a spectacular stepdad. Unfortunately I wasn't able to be there when he died, but his memory is always with me.

Sincere condolences and much props on the kid your dad raised.....Your brother is truly awesome.

God bless, man. Prayers go out to your family in this time of need.

Psalm 57:1 Be merciful unto me, O God, be merciful unto me: for my soul trusteth in Thee: yea, in the shadow of Thy wings will I make my refuge, until these calamities be overpast.

2007-01-16 17:18:47
83.   manila boy
A beautiful tribute, Alex. My deepest condolences to you and your family.
2007-01-16 17:22:49
84.   bronxbomber7
Sorry for your loss, Alex. My Dad passed in 1996 and was a lifelong Yankee fan since the late 1930's, who just missed the great run that began that fall. I've never really been the same but it helps to remember the good times one shared. Time will heal. Peace to you and your family.
2007-01-16 17:54:37
85.   ack
What you did in your blog was beautiful and touching.
My condolences.
2007-01-16 18:03:54
86.   brockdc
Beautiful piece, Alex. Thanks for sharing, man.

My condolences for your loss.

2007-01-16 18:08:01
87.   sam2175
My deepest and heartfelt condolences, Alex. This is one of the most honest, dignified and touching eulogies I have ever read. Thanks for sharing.
2007-01-16 18:38:28
88.   Admkraz
Sorry for your loss, but thank you for sharing it with all of us. My condolences.
2007-01-16 18:42:18
89.   kdw
Deepest condolences on your loss, Alex. May you and your family find strength and comfort in each other.
2007-01-16 19:00:07
90.   LI yankee
I am very sorry for your loss Alex. My sincerest condolences to you and your family.
2007-01-16 19:46:37
91.   Scott Long
Alex,
As someone with my own daddy issues, I can relate to much of your excellent eulogy. Be thankful that you had so much closure before his passing. I appreciate your honesty in disucssing your complicated relationship. Very touching.
2007-01-16 19:53:54
92.   Jen
Sorry for your loss Alex.
2007-01-16 20:40:20
93.   C2Coke
Alex, you have really created an amazing community here.

I left a message this morning before I left and came back tonight and saw all these posts and just wanted to once again thank you and Cliff. This community really is beautiful.

2007-01-16 21:16:08
94.   BronxToCT
Alex -- I'm so sorry for your loss. You and your dad are so fortunate to have had the opportunity to reach out to each other in his last years. On the way home today, I was thinking about my father, who died of a heart attack when he was 56. I was living away from home, at school, most of his last few years, except for the year I got out of college and didn't know what the hell I would do with myself. So I returned to the Bronx for a year -- and during that time, I got to see my alot more of him since he was already out on disability after his second heart attack. I remember coming home late one night from tending bar, and he was awake in his bedroom -- I went over to say hi, and out of the blue he just grabbed me and said he loved me -- I often think of that moment and sometimes wonder what he was thinking at the time. He died just 2 years later. Was he coming to grips with his mortality? Did he see something of himself in me that touched him? It was probably the only time I can remember him saying that, althought I never doubted his love or his pride in me. Now, with an 11-year old daughter, the I-love-yous come fast and furious. Who knows how much time we have -- we all wish to be good parents. I do know, Alex, that your dad must have been a terrific parent to you, because after years of reading your work I perceive an extraordinary sense of ethics in you -- a sense of what is right and what is not -- and I am sure that your dad played a major role in shaping who you are. If are and Emily choose to be parents someday, I have no doubt that you will be a terrific father. My condolences and to you and your family. It's hard, it will get better -- but it never will be better.
2007-01-16 21:30:37
95.   uburoisc
Touching sentiments, Alex, truly lovely. My sympathy for your loss and my best to you and your family. Reading your work each day, I believe more than ever that you are a writer first, and a baseball writer second.
2007-01-16 21:51:52
96.   Greg Brock
My deepest sympathies, Alex. It was a very touching essay.

God Bless.

2007-01-16 22:40:20
97.   seamus
Alex - thanks for that thoughtful sharing at such a difficult time. My condolences to you and your family.
2007-01-16 22:42:43
98.   Voxter
Peace be upon you & your father. A touching and honest piece.
2007-01-17 05:03:43
99.   mikeplugh
Love from wife wife Ari, my son Hiroto, and I all the way from Japan, Alex. You give a lot of people pleasure simply by spinning words into images. I'm sure your pop was a very proud man, and we all are behind you in this time of mourning.

Our prayers are with you and your family.

2007-01-17 05:43:11
100.   SG in ATL
Very sorry for your loss Alex.
Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2007-01-17 05:51:07
101.   VT Bomber
Alex - so sorry for your loss, but thank you for the beautiful piece that you wrote on you dad. I lost my dad when I was 14, and after reading your post, a lot of feelings came back to me that I'd held back for years. I never thought something on a baseball site would help me let out my emotions, but what you wrote really touched me. Again, so sorry for your loss.
2007-01-17 06:40:12
102.   Knuckles
Alex, everyone else had said it all but wanted to chime in and say my thoughts are with your family.
2007-01-17 07:27:05
103.   blemt
Alex, my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. I hope when it's my dad's time to go he gets the kind of send of your Pop did.
2007-01-20 16:10:16
104.   Bob Anzelowitz
Alex, I found out only today about your dad's passing and am so sorry for your loss.
Your eulogy was a fitting tribute to a very special person. I drank with your dad and as sober adults we enjoyed many good times together. He will be sorely missed.
Bob
2007-01-20 16:10:35
105.   Bob Anzelowitz
Alex, I found out only today about your dad's passing and am so sorry for your loss.
Your eulogy was a fitting tribute to a very special person. I drank with your dad and as sober adults we enjoyed many good times together. He will be sorely missed.
Bob
2007-01-31 07:12:25
106.   Teacher Jerry
Hey, Alex
Yes, as you are probably a reflection of your "Old Man," he must have been quite a guy!

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