The Impossible Dream

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Editor’s Note – This was originally published in 2006.

I’ve been in a family mood lately.

Of course, I am grand patriarch to a modest brood (my son Colin, daughter Aria and two dogs of whom a paternity test has proven I am not the biological father but love all the same). Unless you’re some deadbeat who collects ’72 Novas in his front yard and downs Schlitz by the gallon while shouting to your kinfolk to “Git R Done!!!” – it’s hard not to feel in the family way most every day. All it takes is a turn into your driveway – on some cold winter’s day after the grueling grind at the ‘nine to five’ - where a quick peek at your front window reveals the silhouette of a head (or in my case four heads) peering out, awaiting your blessed return. A sight like that is guaranteed to pluck the heart strings.

So it’s safe to say that I’m a pretty happy family man. Of course, there are days where my children conspire to cash in my life insurance policy a wee bit early (those days are named Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday). But the proper recipe for a good life calls for a little sour with your sweet. What doesn’t kill me, makes me stronger. I hold onto the hope that I don’t die an 80 pound weakling. Anyone who has spied my Jabba girth of late (see pic above) knows I have nothing to fear.

The point is - news from the home front is good. For the purpose of this post, I toss my net a bit wider to focus on my extended family. As readers of this site know, my Dad got married to Missy about a week and a half ago. (“What’s that? Ed’s Dad got married? Twice?”) Don’t worry – this ain’t no Big Love story. My Mom and Dad got divorced a long time ago. It was smack-dab in the middle of the 80’s. Mother Russia was still a force to be reckoned with, the Internet was barely a gleam in Al Gore’s eye and a young Balki Bartokamus was teaching the world how to laugh. So, my Dad’s recent wedding is completely on the up and up.

Anyway, it was during this wedding, as I observed two large, extended families join forces to witness my Dad and Missy’s marital union – as I reunited with some cousins I haven’t seen in half a decade – as I mixed it up with my PA-based sister Jenna, her husband Eric and my nephews Eric and MaKenna – as I joked with my sis Noelle who I see more often but not often enough – and as I mingled among a rogue’s gallery of friendly faces (some old friends – some brand spanking new) that it really hit me how much I miss the great varied group of people that exist and have resided in my life at some point.

It made me wish that Impossible Dream.

For me, that dream is of a life where every single person I’ve ever made a connection with – be they friend or family - never had to mosey on. I wish my life was so wide open – my responsibilities so few – time so malleable – that I had room enough to keep in touch with every single person that I’ve ever whiled away an afternoon engaged in the simple pleasures of good conversation. Whether it was a BBQ chat about the Sox and how it might not be the Yankees that suck – or those vital whispers of encouragement on the eve of your wedding day – or those great midnight chats you have with your close friends and family, where the topics meander so far astray that you pray someone sketched a roadmap on a cocktail napkin so you can figure out what the hell you were talking about in the first place. It’s those people that I wish I never had to bid a fond adieu. Not even for an instant.

Of course, reality bites. Details of the dream are fleeting and by breakfast, it’s a distant memory. The euphoria you have when in the company of your beloved friends and family soon fades as you merge back into the traffic of your everyday routine.

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Last week, Jenna and her family rented a beautiful Cape house in Sandwich. They left the wedding and headed off to their much deserved Cape vacation. Before we all parted ways at the tail end of that stunning Saturday, a plan had been inked. A good number of familial relations were planning on steering their cars southward for a little R & R that Friday. Originally, I had planned on working a half-day, then meeting up with Andi and the kids – and the rest of my clan – for that late afternoon BBQ rendezvous.

When I got to work that Monday, I had a quick change of heart. The warm tidings of the wedding carried over and I was missing everyone something fierce. I decided to angle for the entire day off – late notice be damned. My boss is very accommodating, so I secured the day off very quickly. I’m glad I did.

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As I stood with Aria in the cool, calm surf of their private beach - a father and daughter’s piggies available for the taking for any curious crabs that came sidling by – I reflected upon how good I’ve got it. I knew that that day – like the wedding on Saturday – like the birth dates of my son and daughter – like my wedding day to Andi – like my non-surprise Surprise 30th B-Day party at Vinny Testa’s – like my debut as Rooster Hannigan in Annie during my senior year at RHS – like every other day that I was reminded how blessed I am to have such a solid foundation of friends and family – that all these days must eventually yield to twilight.

And it’s in those dark hours – from dusk ’til dawn – where my precious memories live on.

In dreams…

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Comments now closed (10)

  • Again…the softer side of Ed.

    I have noticed that these type of comments elicit far fewer responses than “The Five Bloodiest Battles in Film” ( Brannaugh’s Henry V should be about #3)or “Stupid Things I have Said or Done in the Presence of the Law”, all worthy of discourse and recieve much. But the quiet musings of a man who clearly sees himself as the luckiest ( …luckiest) man (…man) on the face of the earth ( … the earth) slips by. Maybe it’s because there is nothing to discuss,such wonderful
    thoughts written so lovingly. Who can argue with that?

  • The Top 5 Lists I write for them. The inner thoughts I inscribe for me. And then I leave the book open and let anyone who wanders by, sneak a peek, with the hope that maybe they’ll stay for a spell and poke around a bit more.

    I have to admit though – this site meanders. On the same day you spy a candid shot of my children and I in the cool Atlantic – you have the pixel-perfect grizzled countenance of Solid Snake staring you down.

    What a schizo website I have wrought!!!

  • Eddie,
    Read “Marley and Me”. It’s a true story of a family man and his dog. (A lab)You’ll love it. This blog entry reminded me of the book.

  • I’m just wondering if Colin fell off his Jet-ski or something. Must be the flotation device. 🙂

    I agree with your Aunt Sharon though, these kinds of pieces are some of your best and I always appreciate them, even if I don’t have something to comment on. Where’s that story about the crazy CD you were telling me about at the game?

  • Hi Ed, Andi, Colin and Aria, I love your website and so enjoy your stories. It was great visiting with you all again. We always enjoy our trips to Mass. You are truly gifted. Hugs to you all.
    LY, Wendy

  • glad you have more time on your hands now to reconnect with everyone, even if only thru FB! 🙂 soon, you’ll have that damn 9-5 again, and we’ll all miss you something fierce!

  • @Sarah – When that day comes, although I’ll miss all of you guys, I’ll make sure to bring someone on staff to keep my day-to-day FB operations running.

    That being said – I realized something. I need to take advantage of this time and actually get out and do things with real people – not just hunting cyber world for that elusive job. I need to enjoy some of this time.