It was 20 years ago today that my dad's best friend, and my sister's Godfather, Kevin Murphy died.
He was struck by a train.
Not exactly the greatest way to go is it? Just like that Murphy (Nobody ever called him Kevin, except his brothers and parents) was gone from my life and I never even really got a chance to know him.
Now to give you all an idea of what kind of guy Murphy was, keep in mind I was 5 years old when he died, and I don't have many memories at all of that time.
But just about every memory I have from then involves Murphy.
Whether he was showing up at my house unannounced to take my sister and I to some sort of carnival or festival-and loading us up with cotton candy, bringing us gifts, or I was finding him asleep on our couch early Saturday morning only to wake him up-no doubt extremely hungover from the Friday night with my father before-and make him watch cartoons with me.
He never said no, and he never showed any signs of being anything but delighted to see me.
I still have the teddy bear he gave me as a baby. I named him Brown Bear. Ya I know, I wasn't too creative at the time. I also still have the baseball glove he gave me as a child. I've used it throughout my entire life playing baseball-it was an adult glove and I was a big kid-and still use it today. Even if it does have a hole in the palm and all the padding is gone.
I also still remember the day 20 years ago when he died. I was outside in my driveway, wearing the glove he gave me, bouncing a baseball off the side of our house and catching it. Then I heard my mom screaming and crying in the kitchen.
I went inside to see what was happening and found my mom crying in the kitchen, the phone hanging from it's cord. She just grabbed me and hugged me while sobbing.
I don't think she had the strength to tell me what had happened. When I finally did find out, I didn't cry. I was too young to really understand what was going on. My sister cried, but I think as more of a reaction to seeing my mom than understanding what was going on.
As the years have passed, I've often wondered how life would be different if Murphy were still alive today. I wish he was, not because I want my life to be different or anything.
Just cuz I'd like to have gotten a chance to know him.
Keepin It Real Since 1980,