Today I sat down to write a post…

 realenough  Today I sat down to write a post … and I had an idea … I did … but have you ever suddenly heard or seen something that just made you forget what you wanted to say, or just made you want to go elsewhere with your thoughts? Today I sat down to write a post … but first I checked my email, and read something that temporarily made me forget, words backed by memories that flooded me with tears and decisively sent me elsewhere … to what I am writing now.

Seven years ago … and it’s hard to believe it’s been that … my father passed away. He was a man full of life, a generously happy spirit, quick to laugh, a magnet for humor. I watched him work his magic with this, often times setting himself up intentionally as the fall guy, the butt of a joke, and I understood that. I believe most did. Like Lou Costello of the comedy team of Abbott and Costello, you could never mock the man because of it … only respect him. It was a crafted manipulation my dad weaved barely unseen, just under the twinkle in his eye. I believe he worshipped that want to see others smile and be amused, and knew how to absorb the change of the situation when it came towards him, when the laugh was on him. He knew how to absorb and give it back. He taught me how to laugh at myself and have others laugh at me, not to take offense, but appreciate the humor given in that way, and in the end the laughter obtained always wound up not derisive, but only honest mirth … and he did this by being who he was, the real, but humble master of it. He played it well, taking the humor to where he wanted it to go, or allowed it to go where others made off with it, just because the end result was the same … a good time. I’d like to think I have that of him in me. I could go on with all he had been for me and continues to be, but I’m sure, not unlike myself, you have known or know someone in your life as universally special to you in so many universally different ways, and each as endearing to you as those between me and my father. Cherish them.

Gerard McManus

Today I sat down to write a post … but yesterday told me what to say.

Love you Dad … miss you.


P.S. Here is a post of the email I got today. ALS is a terrible disease.

Hope this finds everyone well!  I wanted to pass this along to you guys. Alex (Justin’s brother) and his fiancee, Julie are doing a walk for ALS and they are walking in memory of Dad, along with someone they know who has ALS.
Subject: 2013 Denver ALS Association’s Walk to Defeat ALS
Walk to Defeat ALS
Family and Friends,
As you may or may not know, Team Birmingham (that would be me and Alex) is
back for this year’s 2013: The ALS Association’s Walk to Defeat ALS®.
This will be the second year we are walking in honor of Greg Birmingham, our
close family friend, who was diagnosed with ALS several years ago, and still
battling the disease today. Also this year, we will be walking in memory of Gerard McManus, our sister-in-law’s father, who was a victim of ALS and passed
away around 6 years ago.
The Walk is coming up again very soon, and that means it’s fundraising time
I am emailing you to increase awareness and ask for your support. Here are some
quick, troubling facts about ALS:
1. Upon diagnosis, doctors give ALS patients only two to five years to live.
2. ALS causes the motor neurons in a person’s brain and spinal cord to waste
away. When the motor neurons die, the muscles become paralyzed. Gradually, a
person is robbed of the ability to walk, speak, eat, and eventually breathe.
3. It can cost up to $200,000 per year to live with ALS.
4. Research funded by The ALS Association continues to make great strides in
helping scientists understand more about ALS, but there is still no known cure for
this always-fatal disease.
5. Money raised not only funds cutting-edge research, but it also provides critical programs for families affected by ALS.
There are a couple options if you would like to proactively support the ALS
Association. You could join Team Birmingham and be a “virtual walker” in honor
of our good friend Greg Birmingham and/or in memory of Gerard McManus. Or,
you could make a donation by clicking on the link below to go directly to Team Birmingham’s fundraising page.
Thank you in advance for your support!
Alex and Julie
P.S. Feel free to forward this email to as many people as possible. We welcome
the opportunity for more people to support the fight against this awful disease.
Click here to visit my personal page. If the text above does not appear as a

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5 Responses to Today I sat down to write a post…

  1. Sally McManus says:

    Nice job! Very well expressed sentiments. I enjoyed your other posts too. Love, Mom

  2. Thomas says:

    Roger beautifully written and so true….I miss him. You brought me to tears.

  3. You know the email took me off guard. I felt I really needed to write it and get the information out there too.

  4. (Fr.) Tom D'Albro says:

    What a beautifully written tribute to your dad, Roger. Sorry I didn’t know about his death five years ago. I will offer Mass for him tomorrow. I will also look into the ALS effort. Hope all else is well with you.

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