Rick Sierchio was never obligated to do anything for my brother and I. Yet he became our “Uncle Ricky,” and our lives were shaped by his love and guidance.
Uncle Ricky wasn’t my uncle in the strict sense. He was the brother of my mom’s high school friend. At some point during my young childhood, he made a choice to invest in my brother and I, merely out of a deep-set sense of love and justice.
No, I don’t mean my sons. I mean the guys I was blessed to coach in Allendale. And I especially mean a handful of them who became particularly dear to my family.
Any coach or teacher knows that you ought not to have “favorites.” But it’s hard to avoid this.
We’ve had a dozen or more guys over to dinner. (Not at the same time. Good Lord. It was all we could do to prepare enough food for 3 or 4 at a time.) Some of them helped us with summer camps and spring break camps. I did a book study with four.
They played with my own kids — chess, Lego, Wii, soccer, baseball, whatever. (Hint: You ever want to win a parent’s heart? Love on his kids.)
And despite us looking nothing alike and having little in common, I treated them like my own kids. I was demanding (often) and sensitive (occasionally). I gave them practical advice, which sometimes sunk through their stubborn teenage skulls.
We laughed with each other, and we yelled at each other. I let them borrow my car, even after one of them wrecked his sister’s car.
I guess I’m thinking about “my boys” because a couple of guys (whom we were very close to) just graduated high school. A few them finished their freshman year in college. And a few are still in high school, and are getting ramped up for summer workouts.
For only having known them a few years, I’m amazed how much I think about them. I’m sure I’ll lose contact with most of them over the years.
I know that this is commercial, but I think this video had a great underlying message. (Well, two messages if you count, “Chocolate makes everything better.”)
This event, the “Christmas Truce” (or armistice) occurred 100 years ago today. It occurred during the early months of “The Great War,” when soldiers from opposite sides celebrated Christmas with songs, exchanging gifts, and joint worship services.
“Time is the most gangsta resource because no human can control it in its purest form. It is the only thing you cannot make more of. You cannot get time back, and no matter how much power you have, you can’t change the universal laws of time. What you have (or don’t have) in life is a direct reflection of what you do with the time you have been given. But it is also gangsta because it is the one true equalizer.