By Tony Amico
Tomorrow the sun will rise, much as it did on August 25, 1993. It was a “Steel Blue Sky” as I recall. My son, Michel, and I would spend our last day together. Little did I realize it then. I certainly would have altered the course of events.
We had breakfast that morning at “The Mid Valley Diner” (which no longer exists), Michel claimed they made the best omelets. From there we traveled to South Scranton. We were preparing for a cellar entrance way. Excavating by hand.
It was there he gave me the last things that would ever pass between our hands– three marbles. (I still have them). As we dug, the first one was light blue. He tossed it to me; I missed his catch, but picked it up and placed it in my pocket.
The second one he dug up (a bit darker in color, but also blue) and threw my way, I caught it and placed it in my pocket. And the third, which was much smaller than the other two, and a much deeper blue, I caught also. And placed in my pocket.
I remember the day as if it were a video playing over and over again in my mind. And every August 25th I will relive every moment as it plays out. But the marbles will always be a significant part.
You see at the end of the day, after losing my son, being devastated and exhausted, in the wee hours of the morning, still in shock, I suppose…. I recall emptying my pockets and finding those now oh-so-special marbles.
Realizing what was in my hand, they now represented a significant part of him and me. The first marble, the one I missed, represents the part of his life I missed, when I wasn’t paying attention and failed him as a father.
The second marble, darker in color, the one I caught, is the part of him I never lost sight of. And continue to hold onto.
And then there’s the third and last of the marbles, small, dark blue. It represents what’s left of me without him. And although there is such a great and precious piece of my life missing; and regardless of the many tears I’ve shed, on so many August 25th’s I recognize that the sky will be “Steel Blue” again.
I have many reasons to laugh and smile. I have the memories that only God and Michel could have given me. And my faith is as strong as it has ever been. Encouraging me to encourage others. To do my best. To leave a “respectable mark” on this earth. If for no other reason, than to honor my ‘Michel’.
And tomorrow, the marbles will be in my pocket. They are the most valuable of my material possessions. They are “priceless” in any sense.
So, if you happen to see me in your travels on that day, ask me if “I have all my marbles.” And I’ll show that I do indeed.
Till we meet again, my boy, I love you with all my heart, deep to my very soul. Your Father.