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The last thing he asked about was the score

Posted: 2/29/2012 1:19 PM

The last thing he asked about was the score Post Rating (460 votes)


My roots in Lawrence run deep and so does my love for the University of Kansas. I'm a Jayhawk because of my dad. His family came to Lawrence as part of the Massachusetts Emigrant Aid society to ensure that Kansas became and remained a Free State. We've been proud Jayhawkers ever since.

Over the years I've told people stories about how my family would climb onto the roof of the house with a radio just so we could listen to Jayhawk games. This was back before cable and we lived in OKC. If the KU game wasn't broadcast that week, we would climb on the roof to listen to it on the radio because we could get better reception. We listened to football and basketball games up there. My mom would climb the ladder bearing trays of sandwiches, chips and cans of pop so we'd have something to eat during the games. The neighbors must have thought we were crazy. And we were. Crazy for KU. Sometimes, after the game had ended, we would stay on the roof for hours (or until my mom made us come down) as my dad told us stories about his time at KU. He has stories about Phog, Dick Harp (my dad would practice with the Jayhawks back in those days), Wilt, Clyde, John Hadl, Mitchell, Rodgers and the rest. He instilled in me the history of Lawrence and KU.

Anyway, my dad and my youngest brother had watched the MU-KU game on Saturday at his house on Saturday. After the final buzzer, my dad was elated but exhausted. All dad could talk about was the upcoming KU-OSU game on Monday night. If KU won that game, he knew that KU would have clinched sole possession of the Big XII trophy.

Monday morning dad fell and hit his head. One of my older brothers had stopped by the house to check on him, found dad unconscious and called an ambulance. Dad was taken to the hospital where it was discovered that he had pancreatic and other cancers. The doctors said he was terminal and wasn't expected to live much longer. I won't bore you with the protracted events of the day, suffice it to say that dad was going to stay in the hospital for a few days before being sent home with hospice care.

After a day's worth of medical testing dad was moved into a room and, after asking about the time, he insisted that the KU-OSU game be put on the television. The staff was a little reluctant because my siblings were waiting to see him and they didn't want the television to interfere with the visit. My dad told them that his kids would understand that he "had to watch his boys play [basketball]" because it was an important game. The game was put on and shortly afterward my siblings were allowed into the room. They gathered around my dad's hospital bed and watched the game together. After the final buzzer, my dad asked what the final score was and then talked about clinching the Big XII. Dad was one happy man. He went to sleep and passed away half an hour later.

My dad was born a Jayhawk and died a Jayhawk. I just want to thank Bill and the Jayhawks for making my dying father a happy man.
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Posted: 2/29/2012 1:21 PM

Re: The last thing he asked about was the score Post Rating (5 votes)


A million stars.

Thanks for sharing the story.  Sorry for your loss.
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In the decade long history of the league, there have been few air shots that created such hype.
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Posted: 2/29/2012 1:22 PM

RE: The last thing he asked about was the score Post Rating (5 votes)


Sorry for your loss. Glad he was able to see another championship before he passed away.
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Posted: 2/29/2012 1:23 PM

RE: The last thing he asked about was the score Post Rating (2 votes)


Very sorry to hear of your loss. So glad he got to see us clinch #8. Thank you for sharing.
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Posted: 2/29/2012 1:25 PM

RE: The last thing he asked about was the score Post Rating (3 votes)


Rock Chalk Jayhawk, sounds like we lost a great one. :( Very sorry for your loss.

Posted: 2/29/2012 1:26 PM

RE: The last thing he asked about was the score Post Rating (2 votes)



That was incredible - those memories are what life is all about. Making them and telling them.

Sorry for your loss, but it seems you cherished the time you had with him.

Rock Chalk!
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Posted: 2/29/2012 1:26 PM

Re: The last thing he asked about was the score Post Rating (7 votes)



SherronsEnormousJock wrote: A million stars.

Thanks for sharing the story.  Sorry for your loss.
Perfectly stated. Someone should share with the team and athletic department. Great story.

Posted: 2/29/2012 1:26 PM

RE: The last thing he asked about was the score Post Rating (4 votes)


My condolences on the loss of your father but thank you for sharing that story.

Rock Out With Your Chalk Out

Posted: 2/29/2012 1:27 PM

RE: The last thing he asked about was the score Post Rating (2 votes)


Unbelievable. God's speed to your father and my prayers are with your family. Just got goosebumps. Rest in peace and Rock Chalk.
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Posted: 2/29/2012 1:28 PM

RE: The last thing he asked about was the score 


What a great story. May he watch and listen up yonder as we travel down the road to the Big Dance
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Posted: 2/29/2012 1:28 PM

RE: The last thing he asked about was the score Post Rating (1 vote)



RockChalkScrewMU wrote: Rock Chalk Jayhawk, sounds like we lost a great one. :( Very sorry for your loss.


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Posted: 2/29/2012 1:29 PM

RE: The last thing he asked about was the score Post Rating (2 votes)


I'm sorry for your loss, but like many others here, I'm glad he was able to see number 8.

Posted: 2/29/2012 1:30 PM

RE: The last thing he asked about was the score Post Rating (1 vote)


I'm sorry for your loss, but glad you shared.
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Posted: 2/29/2012 1:30 PM

RE: The last thing he asked about was the score 



76Jayhawk wrote: My condolences on the loss of your father but thank you for sharing that story.
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Posted: 2/29/2012 1:33 PM

RE: The last thing he asked about was the score Post Rating (1 vote)


My condolences, but what a way to go.
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Posted: 2/29/2012 1:34 PM

RE: The last thing he asked about was the score 



widespreadjhawks wrote: Very sorry to hear of your loss. So glad he got to see us clinch #8. Thank you for sharing.
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Posted: 2/29/2012 1:34 PM

RE: The last thing he asked about was the score 


I'm so sorry to hear that, he sounds like a wonderful man, and you should be proud. Rock Chalk.
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Posted: 2/29/2012 1:36 PM

Re: The last thing he asked about was the score 


Thanks for sharing.
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Posted: 2/29/2012 1:38 PM

Re: The last thing he asked about was the score Post Rating (4 votes)


Thank you. Sorry for your loss. My Dad died last month after a struggle with ALS. Sports was so much of our relationship, even when I was a pain in the butt adolescent and we had nothing but sports to t all about. Glad you had this peaceful departure with your Dad.
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Posted: 2/29/2012 1:39 PM

RE: The last thing he asked about was the score 



jhawkrmbs wrote: I'm sorry for your loss, but like many others here, I'm glad he was able to see number 8.

We do what we do - Bill Self
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Posted: 2/29/2012 1:40 PM

RE: The last thing he asked about was the score 


I'm very sorry for your loss. Your dad sounds like a class act, and Jayhawk Nation is a little poorer with his passing. Thanks for sharing the story.
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This never happened to the other fellow...

Posted: 2/29/2012 1:42 PM

Re: The last thing he asked about was the score 


Sorry for your loss Native.  A big Rock Chalk Jayhawk to your dad.
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Posted: 2/29/2012 1:43 PM

RE: The last thing he asked about was the score Post Rating (3 votes)


+1 for sports.

I almost feel bad saying that's a great story because it must be so hard to lose a parent, but if I had a choice of how to go, "Watching my favorite team with my loved ones" would be pretty high up - if not at the top - of the list.
"Lonnegan after you, too?"
"I dunno....I ain't seen anybody."
"You never do, kid."

Posted: 2/29/2012 1:44 PM

RE: The last thing he asked about was the score Post Rating (2 votes)


There are times that it's appropriate to say that "it's just a game" and then there are stories like this that show just how meaningful it can be. Sorry for your loss.
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Posted: 2/29/2012 1:44 PM

RE: The last thing he asked about was the score Post Rating (2 votes)


Condolences to you and yours. Hope he's swapping stories with Phog and Wilt now. Rock Chalk forever.

Posted: 2/29/2012 1:47 PM

RE: The last thing he asked about was the score Post Rating (1 vote)


He sounded like not only a heckuva guy but a heckuva Jayhawker.  Thank you for sharing.
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Posted: 2/29/2012 1:48 PM

Re: The last thing he asked about was the score Post Rating (1 vote)


That's how I want to go out.  Surrounded by my family, with a good KU game on TV.

Just let me see the final score before I'm gone.
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Posted: 2/29/2012 1:48 PM

RE: The last thing he asked about was the score Post Rating (4 votes)


You need to send this story to Bill Self. ASAP. If you need help getting his info. PM me. He would cherish this story as much or more than all of us.
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Posted: 2/29/2012 1:56 PM

RE: The last thing he asked about was the score 


Sorry for your loss NativeHawks. Beautiful story for what seems like a beautiful man. This is what is great about sports. I know some of my most vivid memories growing up are the rituals around KU athletics, watching games with my family, big bowl of popcorn and grabbing a beer for my dad. It is such a wonderful connection to have with people and while I'm sure you are feeling a lot of pain over the loss you will always have those memories to warm your heart.
There are 10 types of people in this world, those that understand binary and those that don't.

Posted: 2/29/2012 1:58 PM

RE: The last thing he asked about was the score Post Rating (2 votes)


I never know what to say in these situations so I just 5-starred the OP.
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An optimist wakes up and says "Good morning, God!"

A pessimist wakes up and says "Good God, morning..."
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Posted: 2/29/2012 2:03 PM

RE: The last thing he asked about was the score 


If I am going to go, I too would prefer to kick the bucket after a Hawks win!
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Posted: 2/29/2012 2:03 PM

RE: The last thing he asked about was the score 


What a great story of a great man. Thanks for sharing, Native. Thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. May your dad RIP.
********************One day closer.....

Posted: 2/29/2012 2:05 PM

RE: The last thing he asked about was the score 



HawkOn wrote:
widespreadjhawks wrote: Very sorry to hear of your loss. So glad he got to see us clinch #8. Thank you for sharing.
Ten seconds to go, we're thinking we're National Champs, all of a sudden a kid makes a shot, we're not.  - John Calipari  4/7/08
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Posted: 2/29/2012 2:08 PM

RE: The last thing he asked about was the score Post Rating (6 votes)


This defines what life is all about. You have brought tears to this Jayhawk's eyes. I am sorry for your loss and I weep for the loss the Jayhawk nation has suffered. F.O.E.

And there's only 1 thing left to do for him: Win the whole damn thing.

Last edited 3/3/2012 11:53 AM by AlbertFunkenstein

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Posted: 2/29/2012 2:10 PM

RE: The last thing he asked about was the score 



rockchalkGOP wrote: You need to send this story to Bill Self. ASAP. If you need help getting his info. PM me. He would cherish this story as much or more than all of us.
Agreed. That's a very sad but wonderful story. Condolences on your loss, and thanks for sharing it with us.
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Posted: 2/29/2012 2:13 PM

Re: The last thing he asked about was the score Post Rating (3 votes)


Sympathies to you and your family for losing your dad. He sounds like a great man and obvious a true Jayhawk. He can now hang out with God and both of them can laugh at MU.

Posted: 2/29/2012 2:15 PM

RE: The last thing he asked about was the score 


Good grief, poor choice on my part in reading this at work.  I'm having to tell my cube mates about all the dust that is getting into my eyes.

Sorry for your loss, but thank you for sharing. 


Posted: 2/29/2012 2:22 PM

RE: The last thing he asked about was the score 


Rock Chalk HawkNative Sr! Sports, while just a game, can sure bring people together. Glad your family got to spend his last few hours enjoying something together. That is what it's about. Doesn't make it easier, but what a great memory to cherish forever.

Posted: 2/29/2012 2:22 PM

RE: The last thing he asked about was the score 


Thank you for sharing this.  My condolences go out to you and your family as well.  May he rest in peace.  Rock Chalk Jayhawk.
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Posted: 2/29/2012 2:31 PM

RE: The last thing he asked about was the score Post Rating (1 vote)


So sad, but amongst the grief we can see that your Dad was the man. Thanks for sharnig. Peace.
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