The Fat Man Is Almost Here, Kiddies!

Hook’s Note: I was planning on following in the virtual footsteps of so many of my fellow bloggers and list the fifty things I’m grateful for this year… then I started to become overwhelmed by the holiday blues.

I’ve been dealing with guests who are not only hostile, cheap and miserable, they’re downright abusive. Literally. I watched a woman abuse an old man in her care (I’m not sure of their exact relationship), and when I tried to take steps to stop it, I was shut down by red tape and hotel protocol. I don’t have the words to describe how I’m feeling right now.

Caring for my father-in-law for so long has left me with a new respect for the elderly, and so this situation has left me deeply disturbed. But here is a post I wrote a few days ago. I hope you find something of value in it.


Well, it’s almost Christmas for those of you who support the notion of a morbidly obese, white, golden-aged male who breaks into millions of homes to drop off mostly unsolicited toys to your children, all while stretching the space-time continuum to its breaking point.

Yeah, I’m one festive bastard, aren’t I?

To clarify, my holiday spirit is bubbling just below the surface of my consciousness but I fear it may stay there. Don’t get me wrong, I intend to embrace Christmas for all its worth, for the sake of my family of course, especially my daughter. She misses her grandfather terribly and this will be our first Christmas without his presence.

And trust me, that presence used to fill every corner of our house.

I can still see Dad’s daybed in the corner of our once-repurposed dining room. It belonged to my grandmother but in an act of cross-family recycling, it became his, and it served him well as his condition worsened.

He watched his beloved Murdoch Mysteries from that bed.

He made us laugh from that bed.

He fought for every breath and became my hero in the process from that bed.

The daybed has been moved to the attic but Dad’s spirit is as apparent as ever. I… you know what? I can’t do this.

I’m carrying on, but the truth is, I feel like breaking as I type this.

Watching the greatest man I’ve ever known – a man who taught me how to be a man, a husband and a father – leave this world for whatever lies beyond has gutted me. But I carry on, day in and day out. What else can I do?

Our lives are fleeting, it’s true, but if we’re lucky we’ll make an impact on those we love and the world around us while we’re here and we’ll be remembered fondly when we’re gone. If the measure of a human soul is the ripples of mourning its passing sends out into the world, then John Fisher was worth more than any man I’ve ever known.

Merry Christmas or whatever holiday/deity you celebrate, everyone. Now step away from the screen and go spend time doing whatever makes you happy. And try to do it with people you love. Like them boys from Liverpool said,  all you need is love, mates.

See you in the lobby, kids…


About The Hook

Husband. Father. Bellman. Author of The Bellman Chronicles. Reader of comic books and observer and chronicler of the human condition. And to my wife's eternal dismay, a mere mortal and non-vampire. I'm often told I look like your uncle, cousin, etc. If I wore a hat, I'd hang it on a hat rack in my home in Niagara Falls, Canada. You can call me The Hook, everyone else does.
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34 Responses to The Fat Man Is Almost Here, Kiddies!

  1. Deborah the Closet Monster says:

    Oh, Hook. I am sending you great big hugs and wishes for enough kind memories–and moments now–to sustain you through this season of sadness.

  2. Cayman Thorn says:

    He would be proud, Hook.

    Merry Christmas to you and yours.

    Peace and love

  3. renxkyoko says:

    Merry Christmas to you and your family, Mr. Hook ! Cheers !

  4. Loss always revisits at the holidays. You were lucky to have such a presence in your life. I am so sorry for your loss.

  5. 1jaded1 says:

    You will be remembered fondly, dear. Huge hugs to you and your family.

  6. I went through the same “first” last Christmas without my mom. I was pleasantly surprised that her spirit and our memories of her made it a little easier than I thought. Just take moments to remember and keep his spirit with you. Hugs to you, my friend.

  7. Trust me on this hook. As time goes by the pain will soften into wonderful memories. Merry Christmas.

  8. nbratscott says:

    I’m new here, but you have already made me laugh many times. I check for your posts regularly in hopes of another chuckle. Now, you’ve made me cry. Thank you for both! I hope the season brings you what you need.

  9. I understand,and I love how you wrote it out. I love how real you are, Robert. Merry Christmas, my friend.

  10. “the measure of a human soul is the ripples of mourning its passing sends out into the world”
    Astute observation. You are carrying on in his tradition in your own way
    It’s tough to stand as you do surrounded by people sometimes at their worst. Difficult to “be in the world and not be of it”…but you are placed there for a reason – to see it, read it, teach it.
    Everyone is touched by your presence – at home and work. Have no doubt that you’ve cheered with smiles and kindness many who pass into your realm. But those warm stories are being held for other times.
    Hope your Christmas is merry and bright. (A hug. Not a huggy person, but yes, a hug. You’re one of the good ones, Hook. (And about that grand novel gathering…well, there’s time…it will spill out in time) Merry Christmas to you and yours!

  11. I’m so very sorry for your sorrow. Every time I read about someone whose relationships with a dearly missed parent were such that the pain of missing them runs so deep, I admit that I’m a bit envious. Not for your pain, but for what you experienced that I did not. As for all the guests you’re having to deal with who are hostile, cheap, miserable and abusive, I’m sorry that especially at this time of year, their pain isn’t buried behind a plastic smile, but is right out front, alive and well. Today is the anniversary of a painful memory for my family, but I’m doing much better this year (just wrote about it). Holding you in my thoughts.

  12. I love your writing. How you commingle humor and heart is a true gift. I appreciate your posts, always. 🙂

    Sending love and warm holiday wishes.

  13. Having lost my parents, my children’s grandparents, my grandmothers, I understand and feel for your loss. I also find it difficult at this time of year, I remember so many Christmas’s spent at my grandmothers with my parents, the kids, and hopefully hubby (with shift work, he missed many), and only hope I can give our young adult children the Christmas’s I remember. I wish it was easier for you, time does heal, and the fun memories will one day overtake the sadness the holidays bring upon many of us. As for the rotten hotel guests, karma will get them.

  14. Kay says:

    You and your father-in-law were so lucky to have each other. Christmas blessings to you and your family.

  15. Hook, I’m so sorry. About both things: the loss of your father-in-law, and the rotten, I’ll-behaved people you’re having to deal with.
    You’re so lucky to have had that kind of relationship with him, the kind that leaves an imprint on your own life. My grandfather was like that with me, and I hope I am able to pass on examples of the meaningful things he did for me to my own kids and to the people that surround me.
    I hope your family has a peaceful Christmas, and if I see the man in the red suit tonight, I’ll pass on the message that the man abusing the senior at your hotel DEFINITELY needs a lump of coal in his stocking. Argh.

  16. Just a beautiful, moving post. I hope you have a beautiful Christmas with your family today.

  17. The blues are very normal this time of year… it is the reason for so many suicides. I saw a horrible accident yesterday that took the life of a grandmother from a hit and run driver who was too much of a coward to stick around to see what he had done. They had him in handcuffs within the hour of course. Stupid man! (I’m full of good cheer too, eh?)
    I pray you had some peace and happiness yesterday (and no indigestion from Chinese food) 😉
    Happy New Year darlin… 🙂

  18. curvyroads says:

    Robert, I hope you are feeling better since it took me a while to get here…your father-in-law is looking down on you and sending love so you can persevere even when you don’t think you can. I hope that you and your family had a loving Christmas and that the New Year brings much fewer douchebaggers your way! Hugs, Lynne

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