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“Of Grief and Granny”

Why sports? Why now?

Writing visits strangely in grief, and after burying a beloved sister two days ago, grief’s my companion…No, most of this mourning’s season doesn’t involve sports—but some does.

Watched her last breath Friday morning. Never known nor heard of a lovelier soul—so rich, giving, emptied, yet full. Words can’t describe the heaviness of that day, and sports obviously can’t heal the pain. But a day later, I watched my little girl’s joy playing volleyball, and slow grin came to gloomy face as happy children celebrated life—through a game.

Granny? A truly wonderful life, though rough the past years.  Before her daughter, Dot Dot buried a husband of 65 years, broke a hip, then shattered her leg. We all know that 88 year-olds never recover from Job’s list, but then again—do they ever have sports injuries?

You read that right—sports injury. Think our five-foot veteran likes to lose? Think again…Supposedly, Dot Dot was just babysitting. Somehow even that got competitive, and the little ole lady couldn’t stand to let the boy of 10 win the big ping-pong game—so she lunges too far, too fast.

Six months later, our star athlete’s somehow back…But Job’s not done, for then her daughter gets the news that broke far more than bones—cancer’s back, and it’s terminal. Then Dot Dot’s stroke says goodbye to walking, talking, and her cherished home of 55 years.

Yes, lots of grief’s packed in those few years, but I’m betting she’ll end well. For amidst the brokenness, Dot Dot has her Comforter, big family, and don’t forget—her sports…This all brings to mind another reason for writing.  You see, I’m currently serving a self-imposed, two-game suspension, but please keep in mind—my boy’s just turned 12, so now we’re talkin’ big time.

It all happened a few weeks ago when I managed to forget that he was just playing intramurals—not even competitive. Sure, the team lost, coaching sorely lacked (at least in this expert’s analysis), and of course Dot Dot couldn’t bear to miss the game.

But cussing in the church parking lot while pushing her wheelchair? A tad bit over the top, agreed?…On second thought, reflecting on the great ping-pong battle, maybe it is all Dot Dot’s fault for passing those genes that made me do it! After all, this victim had no choice in that handoff.

Still—church parking lot, wheelchair, Granny at 90, 12 year-old intramurals, cussing?

Image: Walnut Grove. Carl Fox. 

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