Super Bowl Sunday, the minute you hear those words you think about the big game. To Most of us, it’s about eating and watching your favorite teams go at it for the Vince Lombardi Trophy. When I was a young boy, I saw Super Bowl XXX between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Dallas Cowboys back in 1996, and it was the first Super Bowl game that I saw. My father was a very passionate Dallas Cowboys fan that cheered, screamed and hollered all day that day. I never liked the Dallas Cowboys to begin with because I grew up liking the Miami Dolphins fan because they had one of greatest NFL quarterbacks in Dan Marino. During Super Bowl XXX, I rooted for the Pittsburgh Steelers because I wanted the whole Dallas Cowboys craze to end. I remember how Troy Aikman, Michael Irvin and Emmit Smith were favorite players of my classmates and my father as well. The Pittsburgh Steelers lost that game to the Cowboys 27-17. Since that game, my father never got to see another Dallas Cowboys Super Bowl title because they would be eliminated from the playoffs or not even make them at all. He passed away due to a heart attack on June 18th, 2012 at the age of 48. I would see every Super Bowl game following that Dallas Cowboys Super Bowl win. My favorite one was Super Bowl XXXII which had Brett Favre vs. John Elway because it was a very exciting game in which Elway went on to win his first Super Bowl. Two years later, I became a fan of the Philadelphia Eagles because of Andy Reid, whom would become that team’s most successful coach in wins in their franchise history. Since then, I’ve been hooked on their games because they are a fun team to watch and also a team that has the most passionate and loyal fans ever. I have attended five Eagles games but the most memorable one of my life was when we on to defeat the Dallas Cowboys 44-6. What the game itself means to me is family, friends and food but the most important of them all, Family. Every Super Bowl Sunday, My father and I would always sit down and watch the games till they ended. We made food or bought Philly Cheesesteaks and pizza to go with the Super Bowl meal. I would also play football with my friends but even though I never played high school football, I would play it outside with them. I miss those days when I ran from end zone to end zone. I played defensive back and wide receiver and our team both win and lose games but overall, it was really fun to playing the game. I also had a dream of playing college football but unfortunately due to a car accident i never got the opportunity to fulfill those dreams. Despite the accident, I never lost the passion for the game and we kept the tradition going each season. Back when I was in High School, I used to always tell my friends that if the Super Bowl was played on my birthday I will be in attendance. I will finally fulfill my lifelong dream to go to an actual Super Bowl this year even if the weather isn’t game friendly to those that will be in attendance as well. It will be so special because not only is it going to be played in the East Coast where i hail from but it will be also played on my birthday. I would’ve wanted the Philadelphia Eagles to play in it because we as the fans of that great team want a Super Bowl Championship and a parade down Broad Street before most of us die. Despite whoever plays in it, to be in attendance at this year’s game is going to make my life complete. I want to be there to experience the euphoria when the winning team is crowned as the champion.
At the end of every day, as she rests from her labor duties, every woman asks themselves,
“Have I made my husband and children proud? Did I make their worlds at least a little bit better?” Well friends and family, this is the way that Anne Gomez-Lopez lived her life.
For most of you, she was family and a best friend. To Frank, Martha Jasmine, and Francisco David, she was a mother and a wife. To me, she was very much like family as she was a very good friend. I met Anne five years ago, through her husband, Frank, whom I’d worked with. I’ll never forget how she helped me along by generously sharing her advice on her life experiences. On one occasion, she and Frank invited me over to their home to give some of that professional advice, which was right on the money. Soon, I realized that a few hours had gone by and I said to them, “Anne, Frank, I don’t want to waste your whole day with this.” To which Anne smiled, laughed and said, “Listen, Jerry, don’t think that because our life is also filled with struggles and surprises but we’re still here right? That’s why nothing in life is easy and why we call these things, adversities.” I overcame those difficult times, and I appreciated her generosity and wisdom because it characterized her as a great person that I had the privilege to call a friend.
However, for Anne she fought a very hard fought battle with cancer until the end of her life. Just months prior, she had given birth to a beautiful daughter, Martha Jasmine that joined big brother Francisco David. During the time of her battle, Frank and I sat down, and I thought I knew why. He told me, “Jerry, I’ve seen you mature and overcome many adversities and keep living well.”
I said, “Thanks” but I sensed that there was something wrong and that’s when he said, nodding, “Anne’s dying.” I was shocked upon hearing the news of this and I said, “Frank, the both of you have been there when I was at my worst and all I can do is have her in my thoughts and prayers.” Frank then looked at me and said, “Thanks because that’s all that I am asking for right now.”
Several months passed, I saw both Anne and Frank handle the situation as they handled it. Recently, we attended the Eagles-Cowboys game in Arlington, TX where my girlfriend and I met up with them. I saw Anne completely frail but in very high spirits so I gave her a hug. I also said, “Anne, you’re a warrior because you’re fighting to overcome this battle and don’t give up on it and remember that you can count on the power of prayer” My girlfriend turned to me and said, “Babe, this is why I love you, you have a great big heart and I’m lucky and blessed to have you.” Upon this, Anne said to me, “Jerry, you didn’t really have to look further you better keep this woman because you will never find another like her.” Unfortunately, it would be the last thing that Anne would say to me and the last thing that I would say to her. After a hard fought battle, Anne passed away on a sunny day and left behind her two beautiful children and loving husband whom I also call my best friend.
This is just as hard on me as it is to all of you but this friendship is well worth it and irreplaceable and I couldn’t have asked for a better gift than this friendship.
Anne will be sorely missed both by her family and her many friends, like me, whom she helped and inspired. But as she rests from this life’s long labor, everyone that was in her life should know that she has made us all proud. This is why the world is most definitely a better place because of people like Anne Gomez-Lopez and now she is headed to that eternal kingdom that is struggle and cancer free. Thank You Very Much for your time everyone.
Fly Eagles Fly, On The Road To Victory.
Fight Eagles Fight, Score A Touchdown 1-2-3.
Hit ‘Em Low.
Hit ‘Em High.
And We’ll Watch Our Eagles Fly.
Fly Eagles Fly, On The Road To Victory.