That’s when I experienced real grief for the first time. Not only had I lost my father, but now I had lost my friend, my BEST friend, or some ‘boys will be boys’ stupidity. I didn’t have a lot of friends, and George was the only person I ever really talked to about my feelings and my life. It’s hard to describe how despondent I was. Eleven years old, and I was to take on the burden of a grown man. I had to put away the toys and pick up a rake.It wasn’t my Mom’s fault. Oh no. I complain about what I went through, but I can hardly imagine the Hell that she had to endure. I can see now, looking back, that we were all experiencing grief over the loss of our patriarch. We had nothing but questions and doubt. I’m sure each one of us blamed ourselves at one point. I blamed myself. I blamed myself for being fat and not liking sports. But that’s fucked up. As a father myself, I know that your kids aren’t going to like the same things as you, and if you want to maintain a relationship with them, you do what it takes. you start to get interested in what they like. My son dislikes Star Wars. What?!?! That movie changed my life and you hate it!?!? So be it. What do you mean you don’t like comic books!?!? Fine. He likes historical non-fiction and he likes woodworking and metal working out in the garage. So I do it with him. I encourage him and I have no problem getting him the supplies he needs. It’s amazing to see him grow, and the incredible things he creates with tools. My Dad wasn’t like that. It was either get into what he liked or go be by yourself. So maybe I really was part of why he left. Of course I was. You don”t just leave your wife. You leave the whole package.