Poems, Prayers and Promises

 

You will find a ‘Booster Club’ in every sport, at every level, and the members of these clubs are always shaking their cans and asking for money. Donate this, donate that, buy one of these and contribute to our ‘fifty-fifty raffles’ are what you hear. What few of us see or realize is all of the good work done by these groups of volunteers.

It is almost with embarrassment that I admit, that after several years as a season ticket holder for the Sound Tigers, only this past season did I join the Bridgeport Sound Tigers Booster Club (BSTBC). I watched as sweaters and coats donated and the cans of food collected were delivered to some less fortunate people that have no interest in hockey or the Sound Tigers. I saw the smiles in the eyes of physically challenged children playing with physically gifted hockey players while BSTBC members hosted one of their many charitable events. My promise to the BSTBC is that I will take a more active roll this coming season in what ever I can do.

The president of our club is Debbie Lietuvninkas. A tireless promoter of the sport of hockey and our Bridgeport Sound Tigers, she is the heart of the club. Always the first to arrive and often the last to leave, she and her husband Ray are what make me proud to be a member. Another season of being surrogate mom to the Tigers, she is once again her fathers’ daughter. Deb has been in Florida for the last few weeks to be with her ailing dad Jim Bryson, and family members as the last chapter in his life’s book is written.

I happen to be of Irish extraction and we celebrate life’s comings and goings with equal enthusiasm. If your answer is “One less drunk.” When asked, “What is the difference between an Irish wake and an Irish wedding?” you understand. (Though I think if a blood/alcohol test were given the corpse, the answer would be “None.”) When I was 24 years, my mom was diagnosed with terminal cancer and given one year to live. My brother, and each of my six wonderful sisters blew out the candles on our respective birthday cakes that mom made thinking it would be our last together. She stayed with us another 23 years, making many more cakes for us, and then her grand-children. The last chapter in her life’s book was written in a hospital surrounded by all of us cake eaters, bless fully given the opportunity to say good-bye.

While all of your friends and extended family are saddened by your loss, Debbie, we are happy you were able to have your hand once again held by your loving father as you wished each other well. A gift from God to each of you.

Debbie will be coming home to her husband Ray and her ‘children’ from the Eastern Division Champion Sound Tigers soon. All of our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family, and we cannot wait to see you shaking your can next season. May God bless!

An Irish Blessing

‘God saw you getting tired and a cure was not to be. So He put His arms around you and whispered, “Come to me.” With tearful eyes we watched you, and saw you pass away. Although we loved you dearly, we could not make you stay. A golden heart stopped beating, hard working hands at rest. God broke our hearts to prove to us, He only takes the best.’

 

- Mike Flannery

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