Saturday, June 1, 2013

A Past I Have Passed out of

My brother Adam reminded me yesterday of something I was surprised (and more than a little chagrined but only briefly) to realize had crept up on me as if on little cat's feet and had overtaken me. His online recollection yesterday in his cluster of electrons gathered in the frozen ether recalling the passing of our father, William Patrick Kenny, Sr., thirty-two years ago.

We are a large family-oh your parents were Catholic? ask all or nearly all of my acquaintances. Yes, my mouth and lips smile; screw you, dillweed, say my eyes in response whenever clever repartee is called for as a rejoinder. Times change-we weren't the only large family when we lived under one roof, but that was long ago.

We are six children, three boys and three girls-our parents were nothing if not even-handed. Mom is alive and enjoying Jupiter, Florida after way more winters in Jersey than anyone should have to endure.

All of my brothers and sisters are younger than I and all of them live in New Jersey though each, earlier in their respective lives, traveled far and wide from hearth and home to return to a starting point of sorts.

I've read where no matter how hard or how fast a man is he cannot outrun his own shadow. I don't have the legs to even put the theory to the test anymore. But in that vein, it wasn't until I read my brother's words yesterday that I realized our father's death, an event that shaped my own life as a husband and a father (even before I was was a father) had lost its power over my emotions.

I became the person I have been for the last last thirty-two years, more or less, out of spite and out of fear of whom I could become. That was foolish though the journey it sent me on was worthwhile and I hope my wife and our two children benefited from it. In the last year I've gotten a lot more comfortable in my own skin and have enjoyed what happens when you run towards people and feelings for them more than fleeing them.

I'd hoped to grow up and instead just grew old. All in all, I'll take it, especially since I can do little else.
-bill kenny

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