We’ve never met, but you’re always there.
I walk around my house every day accompanied by a ghost. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it’s just different than the rest of my life had been. When I met my wife, she had been a widow for 12 years or so. Her husband was Jack Byrom, and he’s the father of her three children. Cancer took him far too early, and left my wife with three young children to raise on her own. She was also left with equity in a house and a life insurance policy, but her life was substantially altered.
Jack had been a psychiatrist and had a practice in Bakersfield, California and, as part of his work dealt with child molesters regularly. During the same time frame (the early 1980’s) I was a police Detective for the city of Santa Rosa, California, and as part of my work, dealt with child molesters regularly. Jack and I have chewed some of the same dirt, you might say.
From all accounts, Jack was a fine father and a good man. From my understanding, my step-son Drew looks most like him, my step-son Cale acts most like him, and my step-daughter Paige misses playing cards with her Dad. All three were cheated out of their father by cruel circumstances.
Jack’s deer rifle resides in the closet adjacent to my home office, and the desk I sit at every day (today included) is an antique roll-top previously occupied by Jack.
There’s no real point to this post other than this—I walk with the ghost of Jack Byrom every day—it’s not uncomfortable, but I always feel his presence. I’m certain that in a different reality we would have been friends.
Jack—Your kids turned out fine. Our wife is wonderful. Love your desk.