Over on MackBrady.com I have started a history on the clinic created in memory of our son Mack. New Year’s Eve was the 6th anniversary of Mack’s death (his Jahrzeit) and Sunday will be the 7th Annual Memorial Mack Brady Soccer Clinic. From the very beginning the Penn State Men’s Soccer program has been incredible in making this clinic possible.
I hardly remember any details from those days after Mack died. The world continued to move, a new year had come in, yet everything had changed for us. Suddenly we had to cope with all sorts of things parents never imagine they need to deal with. My brother came to be with us, the very next day, at the funeral home, helping us pick out a coffin and making arrangements with the cemetery. Our friend and spiritual mentor Father Larry Hofer prayed with us and talked us through planning the service. Although I was now a priest as well, I had always said one of the reasons I did not want to be a parish priest was because I never wanted to perform a funeral for a child. Now we were selecting readings for our own son’s funeral, just before his 9th birthday. The community rallied around us as well. TIDES, a local charity to support grieving children, offered to meet with us, Mack’s teammates and their parents. We met in the home of one of Mack’s buddies with the boys and their siblings upstairs and the parents downstairs. The TIDES workers brought great grace and helped us all begin the grieving process, but we also learned that the boys weren’t sure if they could still play soccer without their buddy, without their goalkeeper.
We started to receive emails from soccer coaches and players around the world. It was humbling and moving as we were told time and again that we were now truly members of “GKU,” the Goalkeepers Union. (Continued…)
The rest of the story: A brief history of the Mack Clinic