I'm heading home tomorrow night for Phil's funeral on Friday. As I was thinking about that I remembered a conversation I had with Phil this past Christmas. His hair was starting to grow back in from the surgery, his voice a bit softer, his manner a bit more subdued, but it was still the same ole Phil. A Miller Lite can in his hand and his attention glued most of the time to the football game. I sort of cringed (thanks CPE) each time a member of the family went up to him and said something like, "Thank God you're ok." The point of the fact was he wasn't ok - he knew that, we all knew that, but most of us avoided the subject. When I was talking with him I told him how glad I was to see him and how glad I was that he was there. He responded by saying he was too, cause he didn't think he was going to make it to Christmas. I told him I was praying for him and that if he needed anything I could do in Chicago, just ask. He smiled and said thanks. The we talked about the football game and the basketball (high school) tournament the rest of the night.
Phil, I'll miss the games of "65", "penny racers" and watching the occasional Nascar race with you. I'll miss seeing you at Sanibel and at Christmas. Smile on us now, Phil, as we commemorate your life and pray for us for the strength we'll need to get through the next few days, wekks, years - some more than others. Go with God.