Monday, January 28, 2013

Go Cubs!

An old colleague turned very dear friend died suddenly this past weekend at the age of 33.

I didn’t hire him when he first interviewed with me, which he would never let me forget.  I tried to convince him that the important thing was that I remembered him, kept his resume, and called him back when another position opened up.

“Whatever, Liz, why can’t you just admit that you made a mistake?”

“Why didn’t you sell yourself better in the first interview?”

“C’mon, we talked about going to Cubs games.  I nailed that interview.”  

While both Illinois natives, his love for the Cubs ran far deeper than mine, possibly deeper than even Harry Caray’s.

“If you ‘nailed it’, as you say, then why didn’t I give you the job?”

“You mean why did you hire some idiot instead of kick ass me?  You’re going to have to answer that question for yourself.”

“Maybe you kick more ass in your mind than anywhere else?  Ever think about that?”

“Fuck off.”

…and it would go on and on and on... 

He regularly tortured me with this debate and many others for the six years we worked together, and occasionally in the years that followed; but it was all well worth it. 

It seems we gain the most from those who challenge us the most.  They help us to think more, to do more, to be more, and of course to laugh more (usually at ourselves).

So I am sad today for my loss; but feel sadder for the friends and colleagues with whom he shared his life most.  And feel saddest for his mother, father and brothers that I know he adored.  

He was just so young.

I also feel sorry for the Cubs, the Bears, The Lakers (mostly Kobe), Eddie Veder and the entire Pearl Jam band, each of which lost a super fan of the highest order.  He defended them like they were his children, especially when they missed a play, lost a game, didn’t make it to the play-offs, or released an entire album of Ukulele songs. 

I don’t know why I have this song in my head today.  Maybe because it is simply about living and doing what you want to do…something he certainly did a lot of in his brief life. 

If You Want to Sing Out:

And if he heard it, he would probably say: 

“Seriously, Liz, you couldn’t pick a fucking Pearl Jam song for your stupid blog?”

And I would say: 

“Pearl Jam isn’t the only fucking band in the universe.”

And he would say: 

“But they’re the BEST fucking band in the universe.  You know they are.”

…and it would go on and on and on...