Long time coming
I was thinking about friendship when NY Life of all companies offered up their Super Bowl Ad about the four loves. This was evidently made famous by CS Lewis and his Four Loves but I knew none of that while watching the game. I also knew nothing about the four loves the ad covered but I was struck by the first one. Philia, love between friends. For two reasons, my name happens to be Phil and the only reason I was watching this Super Bowl was to root for the Kansas City Chiefs because of my close friendship with a lifelong Kanas City Chief fan.
Earlier in the day, I had seen a twitter poll where a simple question was asked.
A few of my good friends have a chance to see their team win a Super Bowl today. So my question to y’all is, do you y’all root for your friends teams to win championships or do y’all want them to wallow in misery with you.
— Obsessed Dodgers Fan (@Dodgers_Blues) February 2, 2020
Over 500 people voted, and overwhelmingly (57%) choose the latter option. I’m not sure those 57% understand what friendship is. The poll kind of blew my mind.
I lack many things in my life. I’m not the smartest person, I don’t have any outstanding talent, I still lose my temper much to often, and I’ve let sports overrule many life choices, but I am good at one thing.
I don’t offer my friendship easily, but when I look back upon my life, I’ll always be proud that I had three best friends who could always count on me, and I could always count on them.
Two of them are in this wedding shot. The 3rd was actually the Man of Honor for my wife. On my left shoulder is Jerry Sullivan, on my right shoulder is Byron Caldwell. Jerry died about ten years ago this month and even though it has been ten years, I still think about him just about every day. Especially in this era of Trump where the ex_Vietnam vet would have had some choice words for our cowardly commander in chief. Strangely enough, both of them are from Kansas but they had been living in Los Angeles for years when we met in the mid-1980s.
Bryon has had a tough century. He lost his 4-year-old son to Leukemia fifteen years ago this month. He was lucky enough to reverse his vasectomy and father two more children but losing his oldest son in such a painful way has left a mark on him that time will never remove. Not even a Kansas City Chief championship can erase that kind of pain, but it will bring him joy, and we can all use that.
His wife called as the game winded down. She was crying tears of joy, not for herself but because her husband finally had his Chiefs championship. I could hear the kids in the background screaming their own joy. Hard to describe my own joy that not only did he have the Championship but that he was able to share the joy with his children.
This wasn’t world peace, but it was something. It was really something and I’m glad I had a friend whose day was brightened considerably by a game. He’ll call me next October and congratulate me on the Dodgers finally their winning championship because you know, that is what friends do. Real friends anyway.
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