He doesn’t take up much room, just a little space on the top shelf of a bedroom closet. He doesn’t make any noise or ask me for anything either, which is pretty nice. He has been with me since somewhere around the Fall of 2013. We lived in Florida together for a little while, which is where he is from, but now he lives in Colorado. I’m not sure how happy he would be about that but at this point he doesn’t really have a say.
I’m not really sure where he was born. I was told Pennsylvania, but if that’s the case, he would have taken that info to his grave! He always proclaimed that anyone born North of the Caloosahatchee River was a Yankee, plain and simple. The river is in the bottom third of Florida for those of you who aren’t familiar. He was a decent man at times until he had too much to drink and then he transformed into someone entirely different. He also had a habit of telling you stories that seemed pretty real but they were all made up just to make his life sound more interesting. I am not sure what kind of childhood he had, but I am guessing it wasn’t a very good one. He died all alone in a hospital in Bartow Florida at the age of 68. He had an estranged wife and a couple of adult children but even after running an ad and holding him for 90 days, no family ever came to claim him.
I received a call from the funeral home and had to sign papers giving them permission to cremate him and his remains ended up in my care. I called his wife and told her he had passed and I had his remains. I wanted to see if her or any of the children may want them and she was just happy to know that he was actually gone. No longer did she have to be scared that he would show up in the middle of the night drunk and mean. She was relieved.
A night of drinking was the beginning of the end for him. He went to the same local bar he had been going to for years on the South side of Lakeland. A man he had know for years was there with his daughter. He started talking to the daughter and began bothering her. His friend asked him to leave her alone but he didn’t listen. He touched the woman in an inappropriate manner and his friend knocked his lights out, literally. He hit the concrete floor and busted his head open. After he came to, he got in his truck and went home instead of seeking medical attention. A couple of days later he was admitted to the hospital and from there he was in a nursing home. Some odd weeks later he was gone. I would like to think he had some good times somewhere in his life but he died all alone with no one to love him and then no one to claim him.
So here he sits in the top of my closet, waiting for his forever home. He wanted to be spread in the Everglades of Florida but I will not be returning to Florida for any reason in this lifetime. I think I will have him spread in the beautiful Rocky Mountains. It may not be the Everglades, but I think it’s a wonderful place to end up.