Bob Cousy is awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Donald Trump. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
Opinion editorial by WBZ NewsRadio political analyst Jon Keller
BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — Bob Cousy received our country’s highest civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, at the White House yesterday afternoon.
He was honored for his superb career as a basketball innovator and for his support for African-American teammates during a period when they faced widespread on- and off-court racism.
This was an overdue honor for a very worthy recipient; kudos to Congressman Jim McGovern, Sen. Joe Manchin, and President Trump for finally making it happen.
President Trump Awards Medal Of Freedom To Celtics Great Bob Cousy
But the way I’ll most remember Bob Cousy is from a Worcester Telegram column by Dianne Williamson written in 2013 after the death of his wife of 63 years, Missie.
Twelve years before her passing, Missie Cousy was diagnosed with dementia.
As everyone who has nursed a loved one through that terrible disease knows, it can be a slow, agonizing process.
But Bob Cousy was devoted to his wife, especially so because of all she did to sustain him and their family during his playing years on the road.
And as Williamson’s unforgettable column documents, he went to great lengths to shield her from the agony of her decline, planting artificial flowers in her garden so she thought she was keeping it up, doing all the housework and letting her think she had done it.
“My dad provided an environment that allowed her, in her mind, to be a fully functioning adult,” their daughter told Williamson. “It was amazing to watch.”
An amazing story about an amazing man, whose life teaches us all a lesson about love, values, and what really matters in the long run.
Congratulations, Mr. Cousy—and thanks.
You can listen to Keller At Large on WBZ News Radio weekday mornings at :55 minutes past the hour. Listen to his previous podcasts on iHeartRadio.
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