My brother, Eddie, died on Christmas Day of 2010. My fondest memories of him go way back to when I was in fifth grade and Eddie was in eighth. We played football on Curtiss Street with our neighborhood buddies.
Eddie could rifle a football faster and more accurately than anyone I knew. Most often, he had me go out for short passes and my hands and arms stung from catching the ball. Our team made short gains as we slowly worked our way toward the end zone, which was the Mulhalls’ driveway.
But once in a while, Eddie would wink at me and say, “Go long, Donnie.” Those were magic words. I would take off as fast as I could, past the parked white Edsel and the beat-up Mercury.
Eddie would drop the ball in my outstretched hands for a touchdown and my whole world felt perfectly wonderful.
Today, when I get emotionally down with chronic pain or a business deal is in serious jeopardy, I hear my brother back on Curtiss Street telling me, “Go long, Donnie.”
I listen to him and everything is the way it should be.