Series: Mike Sr.


Mike Sr.

My father, Michael Ciszewski Sr., passed away on October 17, 2016.

To commemorate the one year anniversary of his passing, I wrote a five-part series of stories about him. Showcased as an Editor's Pick on Medium when originally published, the stories explore loss, identity, childhood, and love. Explore the series below.


A Year

To be clear, this is not a eulogy for my dead father.

How does one move forward from the passing of a parent who already seemed so much like a ghost?


Sailor Mouth

Once, my father took me out to a harborside bar and restaurant in the South Jersey shore town in which he lived — just the two of us, or “me and my first-born boy, my number one son,” as he lovingly put it.

A father gives his son an important vocabulary lesson, but will the boy choke on his words?



Every year, he would pick me up in his black Jeep and as I climbed into the front passenger seat, he would bellow his seasonal wishes, “MEEEEEEERY YASKSMAS, MIKE!!!!!”

The consolation, confusion, and yuletide cheer of two Christmases a year for a child of divorce.


The Parent Trap

Grandpa is still alive and Dennis Quaid’s lesbian housekeeper has fallen head over heels in love with Natasha Richardson’s gay butler! Congrats, you crazy kids!! ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE!!!

Every child of divorce lives with the same question, one at the core of Nancy Myers’ effervescent 1998 remake of THE PARENT TRAP: what would it be like if my mom and dad got back together?


Stranger than Fiction

The last time I heard from my Dad was early August 2015.

It had been two full years since I reconnected with him after nine years of estrangement. In the two years since my letter, we had not managed to substantially reconnect despite numerous attempts.

What exactly does one lose when a parent passes away? A year following the passing of my estranged father, I attempt to understand what happened and mourn all that didn’t.


Thank you for reading. Writing takes time, and as we all know, time is money. If you enjoyed the story and can afford to help Michael continue to write, you may contribute what you can via PayPal.