June 22, 2012 Brittany and Eric

Remember Brittany? (January, 2010)

"I’m dog tired and look it. I can feel the bags under my eyes dragging my face to the pavement. People pass, I barely look at them, just enough to avoid contact. I’m isolated, lost in my thoughts, just trying to make it home.

A pizza I ordered waits for me at Pizza Pier. I can see the storefront in the distance, a few hundred feet away. I walk past the Sushi restaurant that shares the same block, peek in the window as I pass and notice a beautiful young girl sitting at one of the tables that line the outside windows. It’s just a glance, a fraction of a second, but I feel a little better.

I’m waiting for my pizza. Marlin, the guy behind the counter is busy with somebody else. I wait, and slouch a little, the hours having finally caught up with me. Thirty-four hours since my last encounter with unconsciousness. It’s different being a civilian in Providence, the uniform gone, the radio on somebody else’s belt and the crushing weight of being on duty lifted, for now.


I turn and there is the beautiful young girl standing next to me. I’m filled with such ridiculous happiness I can’t believe how good I feel.

“You look tired,” she says, and gives me a hug.

“Just a little.”

We talk a little, hope to get together this weekend. I want to join her and her friend but I just don’t have the gas, and it would be a little tacky to bring a pizza into a Sushi place, I think.  I pay for the pizza and we walk out together. We say goodbye, and she leaves me, to join her friend back at the table by the window. I look in again as I walk past, smile and wave to them.

I don’t feel so alone when I get back to my car, turn the key and head away from the city toward home. I’m not as tired, either. I feel good. Great actually, and savor every second of happiness that an unexpected encounter with my daughter has given to me."

Me and Brittany will be taking a walk together today. We'll be starting at the top of some stairs at The Ocean House at Watch Hill, Westerly, RI, and then stroll through some roses and hydrangeas, then move through a hundred and fifty people, and we'll end near the ocean, where I'll shake her future husbands hand, kiss her on the cheek and join my wife and watch her get married, as I try to hold back an ocean of my own.

Congratulations, Brittany and Eric, and Eric, if you love her half as much as I do, that will be enough. But you better love her more.


  • Rich says:

    Mike, I met your daughter a few weeks ago. I was venting about some of the insanely needless calls I’ve had lately, ending each example with an exasperated “get in the truck” for effect. She overheard me and asked if was a firefighter/emt because her dad who is a captain in Prov always says that. For some reason I knew when I asked who her dad was that she was going to say you. We spoke only briefly but she was a pleasure to speak with and seemed wonderfully polite and pleasant. Her love and respect for you was readily apparent. Congrats on the wonderful day and blessings for your family.

  • Bob Lincoln says:

    Congratulations, Mike, and to your family! That’s a great location, my uncle and aunt met there in the late 1930s.

    My wife’s uncle walked her down the aisle. He was protective of her after her father died, before her mother remarried. At our wedding reception, Uncle Jackie, who looked like Boris Yeltsin, came over to me, shook my hand and very softly said, “That’s a wonderful girl you’ve got there. Treat her well, no problem. If you ever hurt her…BIG PROBLEM,” as he slowly nodded. Although he died in 2000, I still respect that ‘promise’ and am not beyond his reach.

    Always watch over her, she’ll reach out to you whenever she needs you.

  • sarah says:

    Wonderful happy wishes to you all.
    This reminds me of when we first met our daughters boyfriend – poor lad was terrified having been warned about her dad/his mate/her brother etc.
    Only the other week hubby was going on about how it was time he made a decent woman of her (they’ve been living in sin for 2 years)
    Me thinks he forgot we lived together for about 2 years before tying the know – 30 years next february.

  • Mary kelly says:


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