Wednesday, July 28, 2010

THE BULLPEN LIST

Our dear friend, a young man that I've known since he (and my brothers) were around the age of 10years old-
Or is it 9?
8?

Since they were little boys.
The one I wrote about a few posts back,
the one that is dying.
The one that is only 29years old.
A wife and a beautiful vibrant little girl that is well under the age of 2.

I heard her say "dah dah" last night, to her daddy, our friend, our fan, the one that has ALS, and has less then 3years left.
More then likely 2years.

Yet he continues to teach me.
He continues to give to us.

We had a golf outing as a benefit to raise money for this young man.
A silent auction.
Raffles.
Food.
A banquet hall at the golf club, full of people.
More then 500 people, actually.

A multiple reunion with classmates from 1992, 1991, 1993, 1994, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001.
Former teachers.
The mayor.
Old friends.
It wasn't just the people from our town, our highschool, his elementary or middle school that came to support him.
It was his former coaches.
It was people from other highschools' that we would have considered, "rival schools."
All these people to come out and give to this young man.

Yet he gave more.
He gave so much last night by standing in front of everyone, so many that he hasn't seen in over 10years, and spoke.
Spoke about as raw as you can imagine.

You know how there's always questions in our head that we want details about?
But we know it's not proper to ask the person?

This courageous man, stood in front of all of us, and answered all our thoughts.
In my short lifetime, and I have seen some sad sad things, I have never seen so many men crying as hard as they were, at the same time, in the same place, for the same person.

He showed everyone last night just what type of a person he is.
In case we forgot how much of a bull he has always been.
How strong and humorous.
Yet compassionate and truthful.
Honest.

I said raw.
I meant raw.

He said, "I am going to die young."
He said, "I take 20 pills a day."
He said how much his he is already losing when it comes to his body.
If you were present, you would be able to understand.
He also told all of us what new symptoms he's been experiencing lately.
Part of the disease.
Things that aren't as obvious to us yet.

He explained his emotions about the diagnosis, finding out, his wife, what it was like telling his 3 brothers. Seeing a woman that is now a widow of ALS, and she said to both him and his lovely young wife, "My husband didn't have ALS, we all had ALS."

He explained that even when he can no longer talk, he can still show his wife love and he can still, and always will, laugh.
Even when this cruel disease takes away his voice. His jaw.
His muscles. His ability to eat.
His ability to hold his daughter.

He spoke about how blessed he is. How lucky he is to have ALS.
WHAT?
Did you just reread that last line?

I told you, he's inspirational.
He put it this way, he gets to say goodbye. He gets to hopefully fullfill some of the things on his list, before he goes.
Not everyone has that luck.

Our dear dear friend is facing the biggest battle of his life, one that he knows will be the death of him, the one that will cause such pain within his family, friends, and our amazing community.

Yet he's blessed.

Truly a young man you would be grateful to learn from.
He still laughs as much as his voice allows him to.
He still loves.
He still tells jokes.
He is not ALS. His body is. He will always be the same person until the day he is taken away.

I am going to ask you for help.
Help in accomplishing his list.
He was a very successful baseball and football player, so instead of calling it his bucket list, I'd much prefer to call it "Brian's BullPen List."

He wants to sit in the Notre Dame Locker Room
He wants to go to a Final Four Game, with his brothers and dad.
He wants to attend the PGA.

There is more, more that we wish we could accomplish.
Some like, he wants to see his daughter grow up.
He knows that's not a realistic list, but he doesn't give up his fight.

He is even willing to have his jaw broken and wired, if that will help lengthen the time he has with his voice.
He works out, to help his muscles.

He teaches, he inspires and it's only right that we try to help him and his family accomplish his bullpen list.
Please can you help?

2 comments:

Cheryl said...

Oh to be so young and have this terrible disease. He sounds like such an inspiration. I hope his quality of life stays good for as long as possible. Thank goodness for all the friends he has. That alone will make it so much easier. I have a client who's husband has ALS. He's in his 70's. Still not fair, but he's had a life and seen his kids grown and has grandkids. It's a lesson to us all to make the most out of every day.

So glad you had a great trip, btw. You put on a lot of miles!

Palm Springs Savant said...

that made me think. I like posts that do that, so thank you Crusty.