Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Losing Friends

Growing old means growing in wisdom, I guess. But it also means loss, and I have lost a dear friend--again.

His name was Ernie Swirles, and many years ago we agreed to disagree about the Chicago Cubs. He ushered at my Church, Trinity United Methodist in Mt. Prospect, and was the kind of character everyone loved, especially his passion for the aforementioned team and anything related to Capone. Yeah, that Capone.

He was 69, and died on July 30 after a long battle with cancer. He went in for surgery a few months ago, and never came home, spending time in and out of nursing facilities and finally hospice. I didn't realize when he went in I would never see him again. His pain was so bad he couldn't have visitors or phone calls right until the end.

For the last few years my old pal and I had a not necessarily friendly bet on the finish status of the Cubs and Sox. Only a dollar and no matter what their records, we always battled about who really won. I don't want to win this year. I'd give anything to be able to hand him that dollar come fall. For the one and only time in my life, I have to say, Go Cubs.