This morning, as I read the newspaper, I came across the sad news of John Bettis' passing. I had never had the honor of meeting Mr. John Bettis, but I am sure that every aspect of his kindness, respect and generosity flowed through his son, Jerome who I have had the honor of meeting.
I have no doubt that the Bettis' are a tightly knit family and this loss is so great, but they are strong. They are together. They will survive. They will honor the memory of their father and husband. They will keep the memory of this great man alive.
Jerome, I know that you will not read this, but I hope that you know there are millions of us around the world that grieve with you and your family today. Hundreds of thousands of us who have been here, through the loss of a loved one, and offer you our strength and our compassion.
To the Bettis family, rejoice in the time that you had with this wonderful man, reminisce about the lives that he touched, and find peace when you can. It IS harder to lose someone suddenly, but a passing without a long period of pain and suffering, in the end, is easier on your heart, mind, and soul.
I cry for you all because your family has touched my family. My father was a tremendous fan of Jerome, the Steelers, and football before he passed, and he gave to me that love of football. Jerome, you were never any less than wonderful on the occasions when I met you and you made football more personal for me and for everyone with which I would share a 'Jerome story'. I grieve with you and for you and hope that in this trying time, you can all rally around each other and be the championship team that Mr. John Bettis was the head coach of. God bless you all.