My family in the Chicago area is all Cub fans and I am talking sisters, daughters, son in laws, nephews and offspring. The Cubs being in the World Series is balm to the soul of many of us but none more than my husband. Here is why this team and its success means so much to fans like Cliff.
Cliff has only the vaguest memories of his birth father who abandoned his children when he got divorced from Cliff's mom. His step father paid the bills but they never clicked. With six kids to feed and house, his closest attachment in his house was his older brother.
However, living across the street from his family was that of his beloved Uncle Dick. Cliff had been born in Chicago but moved near his Uncle in 4th grade. His uncle had 3 daughters but managed to provide enough extra love to his nephew to give him a father figure.
His Uncle Dick brought him to his first game when he was young and that memory and loyalty stayed with him for the rest of his life. He and his Uncle made a point of attending games regularly, even when Cliff moved out of state. Cliff would fly in from Denver and they would make the pilgrimage to Wrigley Field.
Over his life, Cliff experienced the normal ups and downs many have known. Sometimes more downs but the Cubs had taught him that if you hang in there, things will always work out some day. And he always had that father figure in his Uncle.
Not that long ago, Uncle Dick suffered a quick and pain free death. It was so shocking and painful for all those who loved him. As part of the healing process, his faith in the Cubs was a segment of the theme of his funeral. He was a true gentleman, a man of his word, responsible and trustworthy who kept on trying with hope each new season.
Uncle Dick may not be at the games in person any more with Cliff, but he is there in spirit. He was the first person Cliff thought of in the thrill of victory. Win or lose, Cliff's memory of Uncle Dick will be with him at the conclusion of this series.
I think we all know that Uncle Dick would rather be there to help Cliff celebrate rather than commiserate.
Go Cubs, do it for Cliff. And Uncle Dick!
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I have published before about the Cubs. Click here to read one post.