Follow by Email

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Time Moves On

Six months ago, I was in the middle of watching my dear dad die. April 3-4, 2014 ended up being one of the longest nights of my life and finally, at 6.30 a.m. on April 4, he left us. Can't quite grasp that it was 6 months ago. Still feels like yesterday and I miss him every bit as much today as I did then. The raw grief has subsided of course, but my longing to have his company in my life has only increased.
There are catalysts for feeling this way. Our favorite baseball team the Los Angeles Angels (who in my heart will ALWAYS be called the California Angels) won the western division and are now in the play-offs. My parents were die hard fans from almost the beginning. I grew up 3 miles from Angel Stadium and so we spent a lot of time at the ball park. The stadium was nicknamed the Big A because of the fantastic scoreboard that was shaped like an A and topped with a halo! When the Angels won, the halo blinked.
This was a fun signal in the days before you could access information from your mobile phone! After my folks quit going to games so often, they watched endlessly on TV. Baseball was our constant companion during the months that my mom was really sick because it was something we could all do together without much stress. Except for the yelling at the TV! Finally in 2002 they won their first world series. I got up at 4.00 am and got on the phone with my folks so could "see" the win together. (Pre Skype). So, with the team doing well again this year, it has made me nostalgic for sharing this aspect of life together. I'm cheering hard for the halos and with any luck will be able to add Tanner to this gem of our sweet dog Lucy, celebrating with me after the last World Series!
Another unexpected grief prompter has been the start of the American Football season in the US. I have always loved football season given that it was part of my DNA as I was growing up. And in the years when I lived in another part of the US than my parents, there were frequent phone calls to dispute calls, yell at the ref, ridicule the play calling and cheer! Once in Sweden, the time change made it hard to do live check-ins but there was a part of every week that included talk of football. Now it's actually a little hard for me to watch the game because it rouses such a longing to talk with my father. I'm super disinterested in the NFL but will continue with college but it's just amazing to me what pangs of sadness emerge when I see something that I know he'd love. He would be very sad about what's going on in the NFL and the hard hitting and head injuries have long been a concern for him. He often said that the US's thirst for violence will never allow the NFL to back off. Well, maybe now they will have to or the entire game is going to implode. Anyway...I got the greatest note from the daughter of my dad's defensive coordinator who had passed on 4 years ago. Sadly, our moms both died of ovarian cancer. Our fathers were characters together and created a stunningly winning atmosphere for their players. She shared many of my feelings and it was such a great comfort to feel like there was someone in my "football" past who knew what I was talking about. I must say too, so many of the former players have been just lovely, sending a note, commenting on Facebook...classy boys those former champions are. Incidentally, he won his first championship at... The Big A!
The big news today is that I just sold my parent's house! It feels good and weird. It ends yet another place of memory for me. I will look forward to meeting the new owner when we're back in Palm Springs next and hopefully she'll let me pick some grapefruit from my dad's, um, her tree. That was a lovely dwelling for my folks in their final years and I hope whoever moves in enjoys it and keep it looking good.
Finally, in about 2 weeks I will have a birthday. The first birthday without either parent present on this earth to remember the day I was born. These are all milestones along the journey of life that we must embrace. But I'm not sure I will be able to cheer for the Angels, watch football, drive through the south end of Palm Springs or celebrate turning a year older without feeling the deep ache, both joy and sorrow, of no longer sharing these beautiful things with my folks. Peace to their memory which lives on in every corner of my heart and mind.