Almost always, the answer was the same. "How did your game go?" I'd ask. "Good," he would reply. "How did you do?" . . . "Good."
The response wasn't a curt put-off, nor was it a rote reaction. It was offered honestly, and almost always with enthusiasm. . . . It didn't matter if the final score was 1-0 or 100-0. It didn't matter if he had knocked home the winning run or if he had struck out every time at bat. It didn't matter if the subject was sports, or school, or family or something else.
"How were things?" . . . "Good."
He had so much perspective for a little boy. . . . Sports were like the rest of life. Taking part was what made it worthwhile. . . . Gus found happiness just in taking part.
It wasn't just sports. It was choir and student council at school. It was violin lessons. It was a birthday party at a friend's house. . . . Every day was a new day, a time for a new experience. Life was good.
But life ended for a positive and uncomplaining and involved little boy last Sunday in a fire in Silver Plume, Colorado.
There were so many things undone. We hadn't gone to get Junior Zephyrs cards for this year yet. We hadn't made our trek north to watch the dirt-track races at Erie, Colorado. . . . What we had done, though, was communicate through ten short years. And we had ended every night we were together with the same words: "I love you."
Please let me say it one more time. "Gus, I love you."
—Todd Phipers, The Denver Post
Three little words. Because they are often hard to say, because we so easily forget, we need to stay in practice. Todd would give everything he owns to be able to say them to Gus tonight.