Let those that you love know it now

Anthony Catezone , Managing Editor

A Green Bay Packers fan from Chicago? Unheard of.

Well, not in my family. We had two. First, my Uncle Jim, who eventually influenced me, the second Packers fan in the family.

There was never really a true reason for us being a Packers fan. For the life of me I cannot think as to why either of us really was.

Vince Lombardi was Italian; I guess that could be why. Or because Brett Favre was a legend. I enjoyed him growing up. Even their colors — green and gold — were just better. All could be possible reasons.

But I suppose none of those amounts to perhaps the biggest reason why, for me, anyway, simply because my Uncle Jim was a Packers fan. I can’t speak for him, but I was a Packers fan because he was.

His love for the Packers was unmatched. The way he marveled at the games was second only to the way he marveled at our family. The Packers were our family, too. The Packers were our bond. The Packers were our team (literally we are both part-owners).

I cannot watch a single Packers game without memories of Uncle Jim influencing me to “root for the right team.” It is a typical connection between any uncle and nephew, but the Packers make our connection special. That’s the part no one else can connect to.

My Uncle Jim passed away this weekend. He lost a long, exhausting, brutally-unfair battle with cancer. The kind of battle that makes you forget about those memories of “rooting for the right team” because all you can see now is this man who had the life slowly drained out of him.

But on the outside looking in, you’d never notice. In his last months, nobody was more positive than he was. Each surgery, each treatment of chemotherapy was approached in stride. He had the mindset that he was going to beat cancer, and the same mindset that even if he didn’t beat it, at least he knew who around him loved him and that they would always be there. I would call to wish him good luck, but within 30 seconds, he would want the conversation to be about me.

I am not writing this for some sob story or to receive any form of pity. That is the last thing I want.

I am writing this because I didn’t really get one last day or conversation or moment with Uncle Jim. But that doesn’t mean I or anyone else can’t have one last moment with those you love.

We each only have so much time with each other. Every conversation should be worth it. Every form of contact should be frequent because they are all numbered. Please make them last.

Tell those close to you that you love them more often because even if you are preparing for death, you can still never cope with it.

All the more reason to share as many last moments with each other, even if that moment is something as meaningless as a Packers game.

Because it is now — a little too late — that I realize there was so much more than the Packers.

Anthony Catezone is a senior journalism major. He can be reached at 581-2812

or [email protected]