To set the tone for this day and his homily this evening, Father Matthew sought to describe the essence of a saint. Part of which resonated with this author.
“Someone that does what they do, the way that they do it”.
My teammate Rick Hader left this world today.
All too soon. And the hurt is palpable. But it is All-Saints Day. He has a chance to play to a much larger crowd, in a storied venue.
Doing what he does. The way he does it.
I had the honor of blocking for him in college as a Siwash. He was All-Conference as a running back, and All-American as a role model, man and friend if you ask me.
He as just as gifted running between the tackles and catching the ball coming out of the backfield as he was cracking us up. The voices, faces, mannerisms and making his teeth squeaky clean with only an index finger were recurring bits in the dorm, on campus and in the huddle.
He found great joy in making us smile, laugh and forget about things if for only a little while.
Now, 37 years later and aided by some hindsight, I now realize he was building his schtick there at Knox College. And creating his persona .
For he was right there with us all along. But it was just Rick.
Doing what he did. The way he did it.
I would encourage you to to take a few moments and read about this national nerd.
It details a wonderful life’s journey from Park Ridge to Broken Arrow. Starting as a janitor, to being a beloved high school math teacher and becoming a diamond doofus.
An All-American role model, man and friend to many who found great joy in making thousands upon thousands of people smile, laugh and forget about things for a while.
Go deeper, between the lines and you will come to know them both as I.
A match now made for heaven. A pair with the guts to listen, heed their calling and fearlessly follow it. And from what I understand, all the way to the end.
A compelling lesson on living. Not just life.
Your departure has left a big hole in the lives of many. But there are warm and lasting memories enough to fill it back in, bring a smile to the face, some laughter for the heart and offer many a respite from things for a while.
Just Rick and Myron doing what they did. The way they did it.
A couple of saints if you ask me.