“The Cape”

“The Cape”

     While discussing with an old friend the sudden, but not unexpected, death of another old friend, I saw similarities.  This friend who passed away was a friend and patient since the early 80’s. He played football from childhood to over a decade in the NFL.  Multiple injuries, including those to the head, seemed to catch up to him. 

     The friend who was walking with me also played football extensively. His football career ended after college.  He has been a good friend and patient for over 30 years.

     One unique difference was my NFL friend suffered a severe head injury as a child, requiring a hospital stay.  It seems he was pretending to be a superhero, jumping from a high porch and using his head as a landing gear. 

     When hearing this story, my walking buddy said “You have to listen to “The Cape”, a song by Guy Clark.  “The Cape” is a beautiful song with lyrics any man as well as a mother of a son can relate to.  The young boy decides he can fly with the aid of a homemade cape.  He tests his flying ability by jumping off the garage after getting a running start. 

     The song goes on to share how we all need “The Cape” throughout life.  What’s your “cape”?  Mine are uplifting books, friends and family.  I love people, stories, books, that encourage and inspire.  Perhaps your “cape” is a walk in the woods, your prayer time, caring for your garden or that walk outside with your dog.  We all need “The Cape”, a source of uplifting faith that lifts our spirits higher so we can be better for the people in our life. 

     My dear friend of 40 years, who injured his head severely pretending he had a cape, became a cape for so many in his family, church, teammates and the Western PA community and beyond.  His name, the beloved, Tunch Ilkin.  He taught so many that with the faith he had come to know in his heart, that they too could fly.