Monday, July 13, 2009

This is from a post I wrote a long time ago that I never published. I updated it a little tonight.

Speaking of divorce...

I just finished a book by a writer named Hayden Childs, who wrote about a favorite sad album of mine. Both the album and the book are called, “Shoot Out the Lights.”

The album was written and performed during a really difficult period for this musician, Richard Thompson, who was going through a divorce from his wife, Linda, who sings on the album.

When I read the dedication at the beginning of the book I perked up when I saw Hayden Childs thanking his "little nephew, Henry." But it was the sentence that followed that I read a couple times over.

"I dedicate this book to the memory of my baby brother Michael."

From what I found on the Internet, Hayden Child's brother Michael died in October last year - a few days before your birthday - in his early twenties. He was "profoundly retarded" and blind and a source of joy to his brother and his parents.

I often wonder how your brothers might choose to honor your memory, if at all, when they get older. Will ESPN do a profile on Joe – with video footage supplied by me of his early years on the diamonds of Northwest DC - as he prepares to capture his first American League MVP trophy, and talk about the fact that he wears your initials, HSG, sewn into his uniform (against league regulations).

I don't know if I've told you what a crazy hockey fan your little brother has become. He LOVES the Washington Capitals. There is one incredible player on the Caps, Alexander Ovechkin, who Joe (and everyone else in Washington) really loves. Ovechkin wears the number 8, which I know was your favorite number 'cause of Cal Ripken.

Well Alex Ovechkin lost his big brother Sergei when Alex was only 10 years old. Whenever Ovechkin scores a goal - and that's a lot since he is the NHL leader in goal scoring - he kisses his fingers and points them to the sky to let his brother know he is thinking of him, and scoring for him.

Joe understands and appreciates what Ovechkin is doing. Joe is so passionate about the Caps that he dislikes any team that has the temerity (I'll explain that word later - I just saw a cool site called Wordnik which gives good definitions and other stuff) to beat them. Here is some of his artwork inspired by the Pittsburgh Penguins beating the Caps in the Stanley Cup playoffs.

There is a player on the Penguins whose name is Sidney Crosby. His nickname is "Sid the Kid." You'll notice your creative brother Joe figured out a good way to heckle Crosby - even though Joe's spelling differs from mine a bit, one poster reads, "Sid the Kid Sucks a Pacifier."

And maybe Jack name a character Henry in the hit sitcom he writes, directs and stars in. Perhaps, he’ll mention you when he picks up his Emmy. Lately, he says that he'd like to be a doctor and I don't doubt he could do it if he chooses that path. I hope it doesn't take that long, but he could end up curing Fanconi anemia. Wouldn't that would be a sweet way to honor his big brother and your memory.

But as we always say, it is up to them. They should just do whatever feels right, and it might just be looking at old pictures and thinking about you.

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