I did not know Father Hitman's wonderful and glorious Touch Pro cell phone and as such I may not be qualified to speak on it's recent demise. I did not know of it's many applicatoins. I did not know it's smooth and silky touch screen. It may have been like stroking the hair of God, a warm lover's touch with the deepest intimacy. I did not know any of these things, but I do know cell phone loss.
I know of the pain and confusion when a cell phone moves on to that big Sprint store in the sky. I know of the hurt and the feeling of abandonment, that same hurt that resides in your heart forever. Every button after that feels different, like an accidental caress of the stranger on the street rather than the knowing fell of what you are used to. Yes, I know these things brothers and maybe that's why I can see the pain behind Father Hitman's eyes more than the rest of you.
Given my daughter's destructive nature I have known many a cell phone and I have lost them all. Even my current one has a cracked screen thanks to the awesome destructive power that is my mongo. I know the hurt! Yes! I KNOW THE PAIN!
And I know bravery when I see it.
We told Father Hitman not to climb that cliff. We told him dammit, but the man wouldn't listen. We told him that flip flops were not appropriate attire for cliff climbing. But he didn't listen, because he is Father Hitman. It's in his nature, he's a free spirit.
It's that same free spirit that came tumbling down Tryst Falls, landing with a mighty "UMPH!" When the rest of us turned and saw nothing but feet and ass, we knew that this was going to be bad. He was up 8 feet if it was a foot.
We ran over to see if he had brained himself, broke a leg or possibly even shattered his thousand dollar camera.
"I had to get the picture, I had to get the picture, I had to get the picture" is what he was mumbling as we came to him and pulled him off the ground.
He seemed ok, bleeding in a couple of places but that was about it. Can I get an amen. We did a status check. Blood minimal. No broken bones. Camera working.
Then he pulled the cell phone out of his pocket.
The back of the phone was popped off, a big dent in it. The battery lay on the side like guts hanging out of a tour guide that was mauled by a lion. The screen was black.
He had it in his back pocket and when many an electronic device would have fled, texting in terror, the HTC Touch Pro stood it's ground and took the majority of the impact from the fall.
And now it had paid the price.
With trembling hands and a tear in his soul, Father Hitman attempted to put the phone back together. Caressing each piece like one would caress fine cashmere, desperately forcing pieces back together that didn't want to get back together.
He pushed the power button. The screen remained black. He screamed "Why God, why!" and continued to push the button as if he was giving it CPR. "It's not your time! It's not your time!"
And then the faintest flicker. Was that the power or our imigaination? He pushed it again. This time it wasn't a flicker, but a striaght white line on one half of the screen. New life had been breathed back into the mighty HTC Touch Pro. A cheer went up but died quickly in our throats when we saw the rest of the screen.
Only one half of the screen was working. The other half remained in darkness and shall forever more remain in that same cold void of nothingness.
Yes, the phone came back but to what kind of life? What kind of quality usage can it expect with only one half of the screen working? But he can't let it go. Deaf, dumb and blind, the phone remains in his possession to this very day.
So you see, I may have never known this amount of loss. The kind of loss that stairs you straight in the face every time you try to check the weather on your cell phone and only get Monday and Tuesday when you need the 7 day extended forecast. The kind of loss where you get directions only to the halfway point or where your wife sends you a text message saying "I love............" Who does she love? Father Hitman may never know as he keeps vigil over his shattered cell phone. A phone more fit for a texting donkey than a SAHD who was just trying to get a great picture of Tryst Falls for his kids memories.
So gather around tonight my brothers, my fellow dads in the parenting jungle. Raise your glass to that brave cell phone that sacrificed itself so the thousand dollar camera could live. Sing it's praises and send it on it's way to that great big voicemail box in the sky. And remember what it was in the prime of it's life, when it gladly told you who was calling and gladly let you ignore it. Just hope that one day it's in a better place, surrounded by 72 virgins and 1000 night and weekend minutes.