This isn't only Super Bowl Sunday. This isn't only the day the Green Bay Packers brought the Vince Lombardi Trophy home. This is also the first anniversary of my brother-in-law's death.
Gilly was the most extraordinary of ordinary men. He fixed elevators and escalators for a living. Although my education far outstripped his, I always believed he was the smartest man I'd ever known. And the funniest. And the kindest and certainly the most mellow. He raised six children, my nieces and nephews, to be exemplary citizens, yet never thought of it as an accomplishment. He was too humble to have found anything he did an accomplishment.
Twenty years my senior, he was both a better father to me than my biological father as well as the big brother I never had. Gilly was also a rabid, decades-long fan of a football team that hails from the smallest city in North America to have a profressional sports franchise.
So, the Green Bay Packers winning the Super Bowl is a victory that, in my mind, belongs to Gilly. He would have been ecstatic. No...I'm going to amend that. I'm going to let myself believe he IS ecstatic.
This one's for you, Gilbird -- just a small, belated reward for a life well lived. And no one can convince me otherwise.