Someone very important in my life is going to be having a very signficant and serious surgery next Monday. Triple bypass or apparently now it may end up be quadruple bypass heart surgery. I am going to be sending every ounce of positive evergy I have to him and to his family over the next few days. I ask that you all do that same.
FAMILY. That is the key word. Because the Flanagans are a part of my family. Maybe I am not connected by blood, but that has absolutely nothing to do with the relationship that we have with one another.
Ryan - AKA Ry-Guy, Flanny, Ballz, etc. etc. (I could write a four page post on just his nicknames) - My brother and comrade through good times and bad. This guy is simply one the best people on Earth. I will always be there to support him in everything that he does, even if that means living 3,000 miles away. He has such a big heart which he gets from both his parents, he is a loyal and devoted friend, and there is literally never a time when we're together that we aren't having fun. I love this guy and I am very thankful to have him in my life.
Denise Flanagan, AKA Aunt Dee, Mama, Mama Dee, and I'm finding out from her friends at The Bay she has about as many nicknames as Ryan. Aunt Dee is one of the most unique and caring mothers I have ever met. So much so that she has looked after about 25 of us since we were 12 years old. "Looking after" of course sometimes translated to yelling, grounding us, scolding us, and most recently dancing with us at weddings. Regardless the circumstance she was and is always there to make sure her boys are ok. She lives with an unwavering spirit and energy that I can still have throughout the rest of my life. Aunt Dee is unafraid to be herself every step of the way, and makes no apologies about who she is and what she is about. This is one of my favorite things about her.
Now on to Dr. Pat. There is absolutely no coincidence that there is so much good in Ryan, because all you need to do is have one conversation with his father and you see where so much of it came from. Dr. Pat has always been such a stoic, strong and compassionate figure in my life. He is an amazingly talented Doctor who worked his ass off for many years to support his family. However, he always found time to be involved in everything that was going in our lives, especially our sporting events. No matter how old we were Dr. Pat would be there, camera in hand, taking pictures of us at our proudest moments. I still have this framed collage that he made of me playing traveling baseball when I was 12 or 13 years old. Those pictures mean so much to me as those were some of my favorite moments, and I spent them with so many people who are so important to me.
Dr. Pat - You are an amazing person and have been a tremendous influence in my life. We are all there for you with strength and love. I look forward to you being there to take pictures of me when I'm sworn in as the official Mayor of Cleveland.