Loving Losers and Lessons Earned


There are many gifts my father, who died eight years ago, gave his five children. Those include in random order: hunger for knowledge, trustworthiness, eternal love for our Mom, and a goofy penchant for eating popcorn while watching slapstick comedy. These will remain as lovely personal gifts no one can ever take away and proof his life was not in vain. As a moderately reflective person, I thought I had my father’s legacy figured out. That was until October 2016 Post Season baseball, he slipped one in like a stealth fighter jet. He reminded me of the precious treasure of loving losers. Yes, I am the proud daughter of a die-hard, life long, Cubs fan. The lesson brought tears.

The focus on Cubs baseball our entire lives snuck up on me as one of Dad’s most surprising gifts. We kids were born to be fans regardless of the outcome of the season. Wrigley was and remains hallowed ground. Every new season was “the year” it would have happened, our team would go to the World Series. He never quit, regardless of how bad, how many close calls to a win gone south, and how many last places they garnered, he never quit. He listened on WGN radio or TV until the last out. He swore at them in his own way. He cheered for them when they scored. Some would call this fanatic loyalty somewhat stupid; we called it building up of character, grit, and perserverence. He taught us to love losers and never quit, regardless how ugly they play, regardless of their stupid mistakes, regardless…..

And now I know why. Vision can be stronger than circumstance. There is a grit you can apply to any life situation if you learn to love the losers and believe a better day is coming. Even if you don’t get to see full fruition in your lifetime, that loyalty is a legacy to the world. Your focus, time, breathing, connecting, practicing, loving when it is hard, encouragement, and years of tears, will blossom – someday. Results hard won are the sweetest results ever. Just ask any Chicagoan today.

So, who is your loveable loser? Who can’t you give up on even when they are ugly, silly, not worth the effort, and making bad choices? A child, a partner, yourself? There may be years of dry spells, but don’t quit the fight for them and/or yourself. Don’t forget to breathe, connect with yourself and others, use your “positive no” when you need to and use those tough experiences to empathize and show compassion to those who need a friend. None of the tough stuff will have been wasted.

The Cubs are in the World Series for the first time in 71 years. At the time of this writing, they may win the World Series for the first time in 108 years. My family has loved them a long time. The wait was worth the fight. I apply this lesson of grit, character, and believing in a better day coming while tackling some tough situations. I rest in the knowledge of lesson earned by the sweat and tears of a fan who believed.

Thanks, Dad.

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