I always looked up to my brother even though he was at least one-half inch shorter than me. He was the better athlete just as Peyton is to Eli. Mike’s a little "cooler," less outwardly emotional than I and naturally more likable too. He had all the ability to do the things I like to do too, such as act, write, communicate, and give direction. He did them all effectively. If he visited you, and there was a piano at your house, he would have us all singing along. Good voice or not, Mike had you singing. He carried on a tradition from our father - another Mike. Only Mike-ee got you to join in where my Dad was more the soloist. Our Dad, by the way, had quite the voice!
The difference between Eli and Peyton and Mike-ee and I is that some of you don't know Michael and I want you to know who he was. I want you to know who he is and was to me. You are my friends. I want you to know how much I miss him.
I am remembering this because, for one, I was so moved by Eli's remembrance of his big brother Peyton. There was admiration in his words as we saw pictures of the Manning boys as children playing football. The other reason was that day was Marianne's birthday and we talked for a long while on our cell phones. She got to be on the Oregon coast for her special day.
Aside from sharing how thankful to God she was, as for her life she also spent half her birthday conversation speaking of Mike-ee. She misses him so. Sometimes when we talk I want to be Mike-ee for Marianne, but I cannot. He was such a good brother to “Mares.” The two with their families lived near one another in Oregon for many years. Oregon was also 3000 miles from where they began. They both left the NY City area around 1970.
Mike-ee was the unofficial head of the family in Oregon. There was my sister and 4 children as well as 3 of his own. He was a brother to Ron Carter, Marianne's husband, and Ron is my brother too. He and Ron made a beautiful business together. Michael and Ron learned to be great partners and brothers.
Peyton is gone from the game and Eli's tribute was to a famous brother. Eli's words however were personal and universal. The legacy we leave is personal. The game, job, our physical location, etc., are forgotten. The essence of life however is a signature that has eternal realities. Eli and I share our brothers’ legacy and legacy is what lives on.
My sister Marianne showed me what really counts. It’s not the Super Bowl ring or the local equivalent of its accomplishment. Neither is it the failure to attain the status of what we call success. What counts is what does not count in the super status of what we spend so much time trying to accomplish.
It's in how much love you gave and give. It’s never too late to give love. It's in how much you give even at the risk of being rejected for giving love. Mike, Marianne, and I found Love when we found God. We found how to value victory, how to savor victory, and to embrace victory even in human failure. We found this as adults. I found Wendy and God found me and we had Stephanie.
We did not win the Super Bowl. According to Eli Manning, who has won two Super Bowls, there is something greater.
You may know Jesus or you may not know Him, but if you know unselfish love you are on His Trail. If you want to give and want to receive love, be the first to give love. To truly forgive is to give love too, and this destroys hate for people.
It all comes from Him. It’s where love flows from ... "streams come out of His Rock, and cause waters to flow down like rivers."
It’s a Super Bowl stream. It's a veil of tears, and waters of hope, and closure. It’s Shalom, Peace and a new start.
He is in your unselfish Love desire and He is there waiting for you and me. He is at the goal post.
A forever touchdown.