Car accidents, basketball, and an empty apartment

When there’s days of happiness and limitless highs, they are always balanced by days of bottomless lows. Days where being curled up on the couch, crying and just feeling helpless, seem so necessary. The problem is, having these days that are so unbearable are best spent alone. Spent in the cocoon of your own home. But unfortunately I had a plate full of activities today. And it started off by witnessing and barely avoiding a major accident in an intersection…

One of my players was named New Jersey Intercollegiate Woman of the Year. On my way to the luncheon to honor her, I was waiting waiting at a stoplight next to a car. I was already running late and was anxious to gun it once the light turned green. So I was watching the opposing stoplight so right when it turned red I would begin to roll and then press the gas. Well for some reason I didn’t do it and the car to my left proceeded ahead of me. As I began to roll, another car on my right ran through the red light and plowed into the car that was ahead of me. I was completely stunned. Then proceeded to cry because I knew I missed this by seconds.

When I arrived at the luncheon I saw my player and her family. I haven’t seen any of the families since George died, and of course the first things they addressed was how badly they felt for me. I haven’t heard this in awhile, so I wasn’t prepared for it, but I SHOULD have anticipated it. I’m glad it happened because now I know what to expect when I see all the other parents when our games begin. I feel transparent though. Everyone knows my problems and the adversities ahead of me, but all I can do is stand there and say, “I’m okay.” Even when I’m not. One of the honorees at the luncheon was talking about how much of her success can be credited to her husband’s support, and when she was talking and detailing how wonderful it has been having him beside her, I tuned her out. I was about to lose it, but luckily the person next to me said, “if I had to coach with my husband, I would probably kill him.” I turned to her and smirked.

After the awards were over I drove back home and got ready to head into the city to see my college teammate. We were going out to dinner and then to the St.John’s vs Creighton men’s basketball game. I had the blast with her. I also really loved the atmosphere of big time athletics. I love my university, but it was cool seeing how much the university and students embrace college athletics. Afterwards I was on the path train and I started thinking about how I was going home to an empty apartment. How I don’t have George at home to talk about avoiding a car accident, seeing my player get an amazing award, and how fun it was going to the basketball game. I just come home, walk Bodie, and then sit on my computer tapping my day into a blog. 

Last time I was at Madison Square Garden was November 2009 when George got me tickets to Knicks vs Celtics for my birthday. I bought him a Celtics t-shirt to wear to the game, because I made sure he adopted my favorite basketball team. That game was close too. The Celtics won in overtime and I remember I was the only Celtic fan in a heavy Knicks section. After the game he brought me to his favorite restaurant in K-Town because he claimed it had the best fried chicken. This was before we went vegan to help treat his cancer with nutrition. We were out until 3 in the morning, and we walked home hand-in-hand, and I fell asleep in the nook of his clavicle.

Being home tonight, I don’t feel alone, I am lonely.

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On the range

When the Roman Catholics developed the thought of purgatory, I think they were referring to grief. This state of mind and being is barely manageable. You just float through time some days feeling like utter chaos and others just not feeling at all. I didn’t cry today. I didn’t laugh today either. I don’t think I even smiled. I was just alive.

There’s a wealth of conflicting impulses that I’ve been going through on a daily basis. Some days I want to just run out if the house and run until I cannot go any further. Then other days I want to cook until my hands swell from the heat of the stove. But with these shifting impulses I end up just not doing anything at all. It’s like they cancel each other out. When one gut twisting impulse pops into my head another one is on deck to distract the former.

Tomorrow I am scheduled to play basketball and I’m looking forward to doing so. George’s nephew plays basketball and last time we were in Ohio we were playing horse and doing trick shots. I’m extremely competitive and George, although not the most athletic, he was really good at shooting hoops. He would make these wild shots and when I tried to replicate it, I couldn’t. We rarely played sports together but one of the first things we did together was throw the lacrosse ball around. George had never seen nor played lacrosse. He was familiar with ice hockey though, and I assured him the skill set for both are similar. He definitely had the eye hand coordination for lacrosse and he was a great passing partner as long as I threw it spot on. When there was pick up lacrosse games in Chelsea I would always bring an extra stick so we could just pass around. He would come out to watch me coach in the coldest and worst weather too. I’m sure he went to more games than he wanted, and I knew it wasn’t his favorite thing but he just supported me and I think enjoyed watching me be happy. I want to be happy now in the worst way. I just can’t. Instead I mindlessly wander through a spectrum of emotions on some days and none on others.

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Breaking Routines

Today marks two weeks since my husband passed away. On this day, I vowed to myself that I would accomplish two things I’ve been meaning to do: make soup and work out. Although these things seem so mundane and could be done quickly, to be honest most days I want to just sit around. I don’t want to do anything ever. I  make myself go out and do things to keep my mind active. The silence allows for a feral mind and leaves me in agony.

After I completed my daily tasks, I ended up going to work this evening. I really just went in to meet up with friends, and to watch the men’s basketball team play. During the men’s basketball game I picked my phone up and realized I was doing so to text George. My mind floated into autopilot and that was something I tended to do during my schools sporting events. When I caught myself I felt so overcome with embarrassment I didn’t know what to do. The gym was boisterous and crowded, and the student section was pretty rambunctious with chants and heckles, but I felt so alone. Just lost in a room of nonsense. I’ve never felt so lonely in a crowded place. After the game when I was heading back into my car, I did it again, I went to call George. It’s such a routine that if I was leaving school late, call George and let him know I’m finally on my way home. I loved talking to him on the phone when it was a late night because he always made the time go by quickly. He would tell me stories about Bodie, or what happened at work, and I would finally be on the ramp to our apartment. He just knew how to add flare to my mind numbing commute. When my finger hovered over his name in my phone, I quickly found my parents instead to talk to.

These have been the longest two weeks of my life. Time has slowed down tremendously and I wish I could fall asleep and wake up and all the pain and hurt has dissipated. I’m scared of what’s to come and I know that if George knew how sad I was he would be upset that he made me feel this way. The comfort he provided me is something I cherished, and I miss his voice so much. When I look at the New York City skyline, I can’t help but think about the lyrics “I’m three days from New York City and I’m three days from you.” The best part of NYC was George.

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