The fourth quarter just ended, and the game is going into overtime. The first 3 periods were an amazing ride, with career, family and friends. The last quarter began with the home team controlling the ball, moving home to friends and familiar surroundings in Boalsburg and State College, with good health and active retirement. The team had adequate income to support the modest life they chose. Days were filled with golf, dining and plenty of Penn State sporting activities to attend. Children and grandchildren visited often, but never often enough.
Near the end of the last quarter, the opposing team started to control the ball. One of the critical players on the home team was fouled and as a result began having difficulty getting up and down the court. The point guard was able to keep the team in the game, while at the same time never leaving the side of his injured teammate. It took amazing fortitude and devotion to achieve this, but when the quarter closed he could move ahead knowing he gave all he had to give… becoming a fixture at her side and providing both physical and emotional nourishment day after day, year after year, affording his partner the deserved dignity that was so important to them both.
As we head into overtime, while the opposing team can be compassionate, they are also undefeated. Eventually the brackets require us all to meet them, and we might measure ourselves by how well we embraced, enjoyed and appreciated the competition even knowing the end game. This player was a class act every minute of every period.
Wait! What’s going on here??? That player and life partner he lived with all those years is now playing on the other team! As he guards her, like he always has done, she whispers to him that he has had such a great performance during regulation, at the end of the game he will be drafted by the undefeated squad, where they will be teammates again.
So while many of us will miss you, others are looking forward to playing together with you again where you certainly belong, in that eternal Hall of Fame you so believed in all your life.