In recent months, I've been cryptically alluding to some troubles on the home front. Indeed, in the past year and change, we've seen illness, death and job loss, but my family was recently hit with another blow.
We lost my step-father on Sunday.
John E. Newman lived a rich, full life and was beloved by many for his quick wit, big heart and (sometimes disarmingly) blunt style. While technically not my father by blood, John was an inexhaustible source of love and support to me, my wife and my children.
Though separated by differing generational sensibilities and conflicting opinions on myriad subjects, we still shared a profound admiration and understanding of each other, and bonded over a mutual love of simple things like a well-told joke, an expertly griled steak, the irreverent comedy of Tom Lehrer, a well executed movie and ... oddly ... the singular pop genius of Abba.
When my children were born, John truly blossomed in his role as their grandfather. Contrary to his reputation as something of a curmudgeon, nothing seemed to please John more than having our little Charlotte and Oliver run amok around his house and in his backyard. He was slavishly devoted to them and they to him.
I cannot put into words how much I will miss him.