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John Sullivan - in memory

John Sullivan, Kristin’s dad, died a year ago today.

John had a sensitive soul, kept intact by a larger than life exterior persona. The John you knew after five minutes was an intimidating, playful, imposing, charismatic, twinkling star of a man, cracking jokes, maneuvering his over 6 foot frame through space so as to alter gravity, to affect his physical will on the earth. If you were lucky you got a finger-cracking handshake. Your hand would disappear inside his, eaten alive.

But if John knew you, you’d feel the buried sensitivity, running at a subterranean level like an emotional subway, serving all his actions, feelings, and thoughts. He would joke about Swedish twins, crashing boats, bar-fights, but would do so in a way as to linger lovingly over memories, and then inhabit them whole. His ability to re-live an entire conversation verbatim meant that every visit with him was a complete off-Broadway re-enactment of a scene from his life.

He could remember the smallest of details - faces, numbers, addresses, like he was reading them off a page. He had a playful, mischievous side, that disarmed you, the way the best politicians do. He made you vie for his affection, and when you got his approval it was a validation of sorts. When you saw him angry, laced with feeling, you appreciated his warm side even more. You would do anything to keep him there.

We will remember his blue, friendly eyes, his presence, his smile, and the warmth it exuded. John, you are missed, but we know you are still running the show your way, up there.

Father and daughter

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