Saturday, January 29, 2011

Here's To Jack

When you're a young kid, all your nightmares are about being chased around by monsters and not being able to run. When you get a little older, your nightmares feature a lot of inappropriate nudity and doing poorly on tests. But once you have kids, the worst dreams you ever have are the ones where you lose a child.

I just got done watching the memorial service for Jack Vasel. Tom had it streamed live, and it was one of the saddest things I've ever seen. Tom was strong and brave, but I could feel his heartbreak when he said how he wished he could have seen Jack graduate, and how he would have liked to go to Jack's wedding. He was grateful for the time that he had with his son, and that for two months, he got to hold his boy. He was honest, too - he wasn't sad for Jack, he was sad for himself and his family.

The last thing Tom did before he followed the pallbearers out the door to head to the grave was to step in front of the camera and say 'thank you' to all of us watching from home. That was the point where I broke down. I have two kids, and if I have to have a funeral for one of them, you can bet your ass all you Internet nerds are not invited. Tom's a hell of a lot classier than I am, though, and I'm grateful to him for letting us share such an intimate, painful moment.

I have a lot of stuff to do this weekend. I only ever saw a couple pictures of Jack, and I've never even had the chance to shake Tom's hand. But before I get on with my day, I'm going to go into the kitchen, pour myself two fingers of scotch, and drink to Jack and his tough old man.

Here's to you, Jack. And here's to you, Tom.