Matthew 5:4 Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted
As soon as I saw her name show up on my phone, I knew that something happened. My friend’s daughter called me to say that her dad, my friend, had passed away. While he had been sick off and on recently, this was unexpected.
I am not normally at a loss for words but I truly can’t describe the hurt that I am feeling right now. A man that I have known for over 30 years and talked to regularly, is no longer here and that just sucks. It sucks for me, it sucks for his wife, it sucks for his daughters, it sucks for everyone else in his family, and it sucks for everyone else who knew him.
To say he was a personality would not do him justice. He always made you feel important and always had a great piece of advice or words of wisdom.
We shared a lot of common interests. We loved to talk about our family, especially our wife and kids. We also shared a love of baseball.
We had gone to many games together, talked about baseball constantly, and often texted each other about news or theories on things. This might not seem like anything out of the ordinary but my friend was a die-hard White Sox fan and I love the Cubs.
In a day where it seems like there can be no harmonious relationship between Cubs and White Sox fans, my buddy and I made it work. For years, we used to have a $1 a game bet on the Cubs/Sox record. That never worked out very well for me but it was nice to know that it was all in good fun.
When the White Sox won the World Series in 2005, he was one of the first people I called and was generally happy for him. I knew he generally meant it when he told me that he can’t wait for me to experience the same ride that he was just on.
We went to many games together, both Cubs and Sox. While he made fun of Wrigley, he never hesitated when I told him we were going there. He also found joy in giving me the deluxe tour of Cellular when we went to a game there.
I still can’t believe that he is gone. My heart hurts that I can’t text him just to shoot the breeze. I am trying to think of all the good times we shared and all the great things about him, but right now all I feel is sad.
So Phil, here’s to you. I will miss you more than words can say. I look forward to seeing you again someday. Maybe I will even be able to tell you about how I saw the Cubs win the World Series. I’m pretty sure I can hear you laughing already. I love you, buddy.
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Steve DeLuca is a 12-year, stage 3 colon cancer survivor, acoustic neuroma brain tumor survivor, 22-time marathon finisher, 2007 Ironman Wisconsin finisher, happily married father of 4, and a follower of Jesus. Not all in that order.
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