I promise I'll get back to the some fun and weighty sports topic in my next blog but I need to do a tribute to the only real life hero I ever had...my Dad.
He passed away peacefully Sunday early just after 1 PM Central from complications of kidney failure and a heart attack. He had been battling ailments for a long time and finally he just ran out of energy to fight. He lived to be 84.
The important idea though is what he meant to me as a youngster and adult. Yes I had those who I admired down through the years. Astronauts, sports figures both well known and sometimes not well known, and those who battled great odds to succeed to reach a lofty goal were those I admired greatly. But they were not my real heroes. Dad always was. From his wry and dry sense of humor (he would have scored some points on the caption contests well run on Sportsline) to knowing when to fight and when to let others have their way. He showed me how to support a family. No, I didn't turn out exactly like him and that's good. Dad always thought everyone needed to be different and societies get in trouble when too many people think exactly alike and don't question authority enough. I think 21 years as a Marine and 20 + years at the post office taught him that. He also showed me that even heroes have faults and it is okay to be human. Learning from errors and moving on, not dwelling on them, was as valuable of a lesson as he ever taught me.
He even showed me how to handle adversity here in his last years. Only at the end did he really complain about the pain and how tired dialysis had made him. It is very hard to let go of our heroes. Sometimes we must though. Now, maybe it is my turn. Sometime in the distant future, a now young man will hopefully write about how his dad was his true hero growing up. If I accomplish that goal with my son, I will have paid my hero, my Dad, the ultimate compliment.
Thank you one and all for your support and kind words during these last and very difficult 16 months. Between the Mrs. and Dad it has been rough at times. Posting on sportsline has probably done much to take my mind off their problems and provide a temporary diversion for me. Again thanks.