- Posted January 21, 2013 by
"When I needed a Laugh"
The first month of my Freshman year of highschool was one I often laugh at, but back then I wasn't laughing so hard. I was quickly realizing my freshman 120 pound frame was not going to protect me from much. Like many kids freshman year is a time of adjustment......figuring out who you are..... where you fit.....and if you fit at all. Not sure I ever fit back in those years as I had an enormous amount on my mind that forced me to carry extra weight. Not to mention I was little and got my butt kicked a few times. Some of my friends thought it was funny....there was nothing funny about feeling fear...and facing uncertainty each day.
However, through all of that I do have one freshman year memory that sticks clear in my mind. I laugh about it often.....and will never forget it as it involves a student I never really knew all that well, but will never forget. His name was Jeff Cahill and now this great story begins.
We were in soccer practice and a banana kick floated through the air from a field that was quite a distance away. This kick bended up to the right and into a coaches face. The kick practically knocked the coach unconscious. All of the sudden Jeff Cahill ran to the area we were playing and out came the most brilliant statement. The comment was directed to the assistant coach (Coach O'Ryan) who was standing right near where the head coach got his head knocked off. Jeff said, "Hey Coach....why did you through that ball at Coach Tantillo's head". All of the sudden the assistant coach felt sort of silly.....and inside my head I was laughing my ass off. I am still 99% sure that ball was kicked by Cahill and he made light of a situation I will never forget. His silly comment made me laugh....and not fear much anymore......and just laugh a little more. He made all of us freshman laugh that day in practice. As he ran back to the varsity squad it was as if he was proud he made the little whimpy guys like me laugh. It was the act of a kind soul and I am certain he was just that. He ran with a smirk on his face...he was looking right at me....his face was saying "laugh kid....just laugh......you need it".....and laugh I did. He was my hero for 30 seconds.
Like I said earlier I never really knew Jeff, but it is a memory that often makes me laugh. However, just recently I learned Jeff passed away......and it really isn't important how, however what is important is he was from my home town....well liked......doing what he loved in life....and I believe still making people laugh...being light about all subjects...helping others fuel their careers. This article is dedicated to Jeff (who I didn't know well) and to thank you when I needed a laugh. Highschool is odd for many kids, however that day Jeff made me laugh......and left me with a memory of him that I will carry with me....he was medicine to my freshman year.......and his delivery to that comment that day was even more perfect...the timing...the words.....and that it came from him. While I laugh down here.....I am certain Jeff is making others laugh everywhere....and that will never stop. Sounds to me like he was a kind soul from everything I have read......and understood. I was about to write about MLK today, however in my mind this came first. Jeff made a nervous freshman kid laugh when it was needed most....I will keep that memory alive today and for many years to come. Cheers to you Jeff....your life....and the fine impression you left on this kid once. That fine impression you left still serves a purpose in how I lead my life. Laughing...smiling...and making those around me enjoy life is where I place focus....some of that is truly me....and there is another part of it I learned from a great teacher when I was 14 years old.....Oh...that teacher was Jeff:)
By Bradley D. Weisman