I remember in the sad and fragile period after Mikey died, when I was so certain that my father’s heart was irreversibly broken, with what surprise and relief I realized that his sense of humor and his sense of the ridiculous were still intact. Although moving at a considerably slackened speed, his essence, whatever that was, was still flying at full mast and apparently undaunted by what had been a terrible and tragic reality.
I was on the tail end of a two-week stay at home when my youngest brother, my father and I decided to take a walk. We turned left on Greenbay Road. My father had brought along a walking stick, and was eager for some fresh air and exercise. We moved along at a fairly brisk pace, and hadn’t gone two blocks before Chucky clutched at his back pocket. He patted down the pockets of his jacket, the front pockets of his shirt and his jeans before he exclaimed, “My wallet. I can’t find my wallet!” He turned and stared frantically over the path we had taken. My father remained immobile. He stared in front of himself. He said nothing. He did nothing. Then slowly, deliberately, he raised his right hand. Dangling between two fingers was my brother’s wallet.