Two summers ago this August, DG entered The Gentle Giant Moving Company’s charity softball tournament. Going in, it was a day without expectations aside from some fun and probably soreness the next day at work – but it morphed into something special. After losing the first game of a double elimination format, we thought it was going to be a short day and I thought that we’d be home by lunch. Then we got hot and proceeded to run off seven straight wins to take the championship trophy home at the end of the day.
Half our team was DG employees and half were friends that Chip and Ted Gibson knew. OK, they were ringers – but we still needed a pitcher and I brought in an old war horse named Tom O’Reilly who at 62 hadn’t played for 20 years. But I knew he had a few good games left in him – and he did. After winning the tournament, the team voted Tom the MVP as without the consistent high arc pitching, the wins wouldn’t have been possible. It was a good day for all the younger softball players but for Tom and me, in the twilight of our careers, we were ecstatic, being able to relive our glory days and knowing there weren’t going to be many more opportunities.
I didn’t know how precious that day was until this July when Tommy O passed away from pancreatic cancer. He was diagnosed only two months ago. Together we recently celebrated the fun we had that day two years ago. It’s those good memories that help us deal with the loss of a friend. That nondescript day in August turned into a MVP pitching performance from Tom that I will never forget. Thanks for the memories.