Sunday, November 11, 2007

Today is about remembering...

As I try and wrap myself around the news I have received of my step fathers passing, I must remember the joy...

Bruce was his name, and life was his game. Bruce was a hard working, even harder playing man who found his way into our hearts more than 15 years ago... boy has time flown!

The set up...

In May of 1992 after a little planning, and a little scheming, Bruce's friend Donny, and I planned the perfect "set up". But Donny neglected to tell me what Bruce looked like! As we walked into the Legion on May 12, 1992, there sat two men. Good friends they were, but very different.

One wore tatoo's from hither to yawn, drank beer, and swore like a sailor. The other wore a flight suit and a glass of scotch, but was so shy that all he did was giggle! I remember as if it were yesterday, like two school girls, mom and I rushing into the bathroom, both a little giddy (and slightly intoxicated) laughing so hard that we feared peeing our pants, because we had NO IDEA who the guy was I was supposedly setting her up with... Was it the Harley dude or the Army Brat? Note to self, next time ask the co-conspirator the guys NAME!

What we didnt know at the time was that the co-conspirator had already told the smitten gent all about the set up, and the guys were playing us for all we were worth. See, the man cannot be caught off guard, he must always be in control. And they played the game well.

And the best man won...

Bruce, what can I say about him? I loved him, I hated him, I adored him, I respected him, I was amazed by him. I will never forget him.

I loved him... for loving my mom unconditionally. He was there in her spirit, in her smile, in her laughter, and sometimes in her tears.

I hated him... for sometimes taking life not serious enough. Is that his fault? Not at all. Did it harm anyone? Only him. "In the moment" was Bruces style, and sometimes "in the moment" meant missing something that was coming at him like a runaway freight train. He lived his life like he wanted, and sometimes that meant not seeing the big picture. But it was his life to live, and he lived to its best!

I adored him... Bruce loved and lived with all his heart. When Bruce married mom, he married so much more. He instantly became "dad" to two adult children who would not allow him to forget his place in their hearts. He also became "brother" to 7 of moms siblings, their spouses and children, and we cannot forget, "son" to Margaret, and "son" to Olga, whose life he was only able to touch for a very short time. Bruce soon became "grandpa" to three adorable children who loved him dearly, and he them.

I respected him... How could you not respect a man who put his life in his own hands and lived, and lived and lived... He knew what he wanted, and he made sure he got it. He knew who he was, and he never let anyone tell him different. How can you not respect a man who knew how to live life to its fullest?

I was amazed by him... How can you not be?

I will miss him... Anytime you lose someone you love, you miss them, that is obvious, that is part of loving. What I will miss the most about Bruce is this... His laugh. It was devious and obnoxious, and at sometimes came at moments when you knew he would rather cry. His smile. It usually was followed by the above noted laugh! His eyes. You saw his soul in his eyes. He may have presented with a tough guy image, but you saw the soul that screamed love and devotion when you looked into those beautiful frosty blues!

What I will miss the most... what I saw present everytime I looked into his eyes was the love of his life. She was there always. He never left her behind. He carried her with him. He was her vessel to the living. He carried his father in those eyes too. Leonard, I have decided over the years, was the devious side of Bruce, and Mom was the devotion in him. I will miss all of him. His quirks, his love and his laughter. Bruce was the best step father I could have ever asked for.

So as I share in the sadness, the "life" of his life, I also share the "joy". The joy that Bruce brought to my life, and to my family's life, and to all those who knew him.

Bruce we all love you and will miss you, but we are all so happy that you are back in the arms of the one you lived for.

Thank you for gracing my life - love, your bratty kid.
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