“I love you.”
Three words I plan to call and say to my dad when he wakes up later this morning. Three words no son can say enough to his father. A painful lesson I learned once again this week.
Mark Ross is a very good friend of mine from Beaver county. As a son, he had an extremely close relationship with his father Richard Ross. Known to everyone as “Butch”, Richard made his mark on the sporting world as the football coach at Hopewell High School. Back in the mid 70’s, he saw the potential in an undersized player, moving him from defense to offense. That player went onto success in high school, a Heisman Trophy and a national championship in college and a Super Bowl championship his rookie year in the NFL.
His name: Tony Dorsett.
But Butch’s real impact was much closer to home. Not so much as a coach, but as an example to his son, Mark. He was a father who was there for his son. A father who shared his time and his life lessons with his only son. In return, Mark made his father more than just a man he visited on holidays and weekends. In my time with the Ross family, I have seen the two working together to raise money for scholarhsips for Beaver County athletes, supporting athletic events in the county all while showing what a father and son work together as partners as well as family members.
Butch Ross will be laid to rest Thursday. The viewing is today in Aliquippa. I will go and pay my respects to this man in two ways. I will express my condolences and the funeral home to the family … and I will call my father. I will simply say to him “I love him”.
Three simple words.
Three simple words that express so much.
Three words I cannot say often enough and need to do so because I never know when that day will come when I will be unable to say those words to him.