Monday, January 23, 2012

The Loss of a Legend

The past two days were sad ones for the worldwide Penn State community.  From the announcement that Joe Paterno was in serious condition on Saturday night, to the mistaken announcement that he had died, to the factual announcement of his death yesterday was an emotional time for all of us.

I feel a sadness for the loss of a legend, and a more personal sadness for his family.  That they'll never be able to enjoy time with Joe in his retirement.  That he never got his "retirement years".  But I suppose that is how he wanted it.  I mean, why else would he continue the stressful job of coaching a major college football team well into his 80's?  Because he loved it.  Because he couldn't imagine doing anything more fun.  Joe Paterno loved Penn State.  And he truly loved all of the students, not just his players.  As a former student there, I felt that.

When Mike and I were getting ready for bed on Saturday night I found myself becoming very emotional.  I said to Mike, "It makes me so sad to lay here knowing that at this very moment Joe Paterno is dying."  Mike gave me a hug and told me that Joe lived out his dream, and that all that we can pray for now is that he is comfortable and surrounded by family.  And so I did.  I prayed for Joe Paterno and I prayed for peace for his family.  And in doing so, I was praying for us all.

Rest in peace Joe.  You are a legend who will forever remain in the hearts of those who loved you.

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