Beliefnet
The Bliss Blog

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I woke up in the wee hours this morning as if hearing a call. It was from my dear friend and co-parent Phil, who along with his wife Janet, helped me raise my son. He crossed over a year ago today. I have known her since the late 70’s and him since the early 80’s. When my husband Michael died in 1998, I was left to raise Adam who was 11 at the time, as a single parent. Three years after that pivotal event, Phil and Janet were watching him for a weekend to give mom a much-needed mini-vacay. When I returned, he asked if he could Adam’s unofficial Big Brother, since we had been on the waiting list through the agency itself with nary a nibble. My response was, “Give me 10 seconds to think about it….okay, he’s yours.” At that moment a bond was formed that surpasses even death. They began to hang out together, watch raucous shows like Family Guy and the Simpsons and play Cards Against Humanity. I could always tell when Adam was on the phone with Phil since his voice inflection (if not the New Yawk accent) and cadence was the same. They had the same delightfully twisted sense of humor. I trusted my kiddo with him and saw him as a mentor and the kind of person I wanted Adam to grow to be. Soon, he viewed Phil as his ‘father figure,’ and Phil referred to me as his ‘baby mama’. The baby is now 31 years old and a 6’1″ tall man.

The relationship evolved further and Adam and I came to think of him as his father. When Phil was in the hospital where he was a frequent guest due to a congenital cardiac condition, Adam asked people to “pray for his Pop.” I have no clue how we would have managed without him. We are learning that now. His wisdom and patience with Adam were inspiring. He was a beautiful blend of Zen master and mischievous child. He was spiritual and grounded. He was raw and real and not too lofty to drop the ‘f-bomb’ liberally.

When Adam asked his lovely wife Lauren to marry him, we planned for Phil and me to accompany Adam down the aisle. He was determined to get there, against all odds and said he would crawl if need be. A few weeks prior to their wedding which was on August 12th of 2017, Phil entered the hospital one last time. His condition deteriorated and he was placed on life support. A day or so before he made his exit, I spent time with him and let him know that we would honor his choice to stay or go and that we would love him no matter what. The day he passed, Adam was with him and seconded that sentiment.

A few weeks later, Adam and Lauren were married and Janet accompanied us in Phil’s place as we walked down the aisle of the ornately decorated church. Naturally, tears flowed.

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Although the loss was and is palpable, we all knew that his body craved rest and his soul was ready to soar.  He will always remain a bright light in all of our lives.

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