On Saturday, November 24th, Dr. Michael J. Feder entered the beautiful kingdom of Heaven. There's no doubt in my mind that he's up there doing cartwheels, playing soccer, and hanging with all his new best friends — Jesus and all those extraordinary saints. He lived an amazing life down here, but he's truly livin' it up up there.
The phrase we've all been using during Coach Feder's fight against cancer is "Gotta Have HOPE." It's on bracelets, it's the name of the nonprofit organization the Feders founded, it's been hashtagged a gazillion times on Twitter, and I'm sure it's been doodled on quite a few notebooks, as well.
In a class at St. Lawrence on Sunday night, John-Mark Miravalle said something that will stick with me forever: "Hope says, 'The best is yet to come.'" This means that we didn't lose hope when Coach Feder passed away... That was when we had the most hope — hope that we are made for more than this life, hope that Coach Feder would be joining John Paul II and all the other saints up in heaven, hope that our true home isn't here.
When I talked to Annelise on the phone tonight, she put it perfectly: "It's a reminder that we weren't made for this world. We were made for our home in heaven." We will ALWAYS have hope because we know that Coach is now up spending eternity with the Big Man, having the best 50th birthday party of all time in heaven.
Without hope, we can do absolutely nothing. Without hope, we can't truly live. Without hope, we live in fear. John Paul II tells us, "Do no be afraid. Do not be satisfied with mediocrity." Hope is what allows us to break free from that mediocrity of this world. We have to hope and act. One of the greatest things Coach Feder ever taught me is this: "You'll miss 100% of the shots you don't take." This means that we've gotta have hope and act on that hope, or else we'll get nowhere in life. Coach Feder is a fantastic example of a genuine man who lived out the virtue of hope. And now that he's up in heaven, we can pray through his intercession so he can help us increase this virtue in our own lives.
I know for a fact that we will never ever ever forget Coach Feder and the life lessons he taught us. Because FEDstrong isn't just for this earth, and Coach didn't lose his battle. FEDstrong is FOREVER because we know that he'll spend forever in the VICTORY of heaven with our Lord.
Mike Feder, pray for us.