Of Grief & Granny

Why sports? Why now?

Writing visits strangely in grief. After burying a beloved sister two days ago, grief is my companion.

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.

Sports obviously can’t heal such pain. But a day after death, a slow grin came to a gloomy face as I watched my little girl’s joy in playing volleyball. As I watched a little girl celebrate life—through sport.

Mom? A truly wonderful life, though rough these past years.  Before burying her daughter, Dot Dot buried a husband of sixty-five years, broke a hip, and shattered a leg. We all know that eighty-eight year-olds never recover from Job’s list. Then again, do they ever have sports injuries?

You read that right—sports injury. Think our five-foot granny 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 ten win the big ping-pong game. So she lunges too far, too fast.

Six months later, our star athlete’s back. But Job’s hardly done, for then her daughter got the news that broke far more than bones. The cancer’s back. Terminal. Then the stroke, and Dot Dot says goodbye to walking, talking, and her cherished home of fifty-five years.

Lots of grief packed in a 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—confession.  You see, I’m currently serving a self-imposed, two-game suspension. Please bear in mind that my boy’s now turned twelve, so 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 basketball. But the team lost, and the coaching sorely lacked in this expert’s opinion.

Of course Dot Dot wouldn’t dare miss the big game either, so she had a front-row seat as I cussed and pushed her wheelchair through the church parking lot. Hate to be too hard on myself, but the whole package—church parking lot, wheelchair, a Granny at ninety, twelve-year-old intramurals, cussing—did seem a tad bit over the top.

Thankfully, my generation’s not too shabby when it comes to blaming parents, so my thoughts had little problem traveling back to the great ping-pong battle.

Hell yes, Dot Dot made me do it!

Image: Walnut Grove. Carl Fox. 

2 thoughts on “Chapter 1: “Of Grief & Granny”

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