Beautiful time in St. Andrew gym in Chicago's Wrigleyville last night for Frank Calkins. Huge crowd, lots of laughing.
Frank can't talk anymore, though he does have a computer to relay his thoughts. His two daughters sat patiently with him last night and gently wiped his chin as he sucked soda through a straw. People came up to him and his face lit up at greeting old friends.
His family put together a book for the event and some of the stories made me laugh and cry.
His twin brother, Marty, wrote about growing up with Frank and finished with these paragraphs ....
"A couple of months ago when Frankie came to Chicago to go the Bears game with all my brothers, he stayed overnight at my mom's. The ALS had moved to his legs and he needed help walking. That night I sat next to him in our old bedroom located upstairs. I was holding his hand, talking about everything like we've done a thousand times before. He was explaining about what ALS was doing to his body, and said to me out of the clear blue sky, 'I'm glad I caught this instead of you; I couldn't handle it if it was you.'
"I called him a jerk and said, 'I love you.' He fell asleep holding my hand. As the tears rolled down my face, and I smiled and thought, 'That's my twin.'"