Friday, January 30, 2015

Football widow

The Superbowl is this Sunday. I never cared for football until I got involved with Kevin. All I could see was a bunch of guys running around and knocking each other over. It didn't make sense and was too.... sweaty. Kevin, however, saw the strategy. He saw the athleticism, the teamwork. He saw the power. When the New England Patriots first made it to the Superbowl after a long dry spell, he wanted to watch. I reluctantly agreed, thinking at least I could watch the ads. Instead he explained the game to me throughout. He helped me see the strategy. At the end of the match, when the Patriots were behind and the quarterback methodically moved the ball down the field until they could score their winning touchdown, I was riveted. I got the strategy, the athleticism and teamwork, the power.

We watched football together and, I have to admit, I occasionally would watch on my own. The ethics of watching football aside, it became another thing we could do together and enjoy. He loved teasing me about being a sports fan whenever I would yell at the television. If we watched no other games in a season, we would watch the Superbowl. I would make football foods and friends would come over. It was fun.

Last year Kevin was in the hospital during the Superbowl. We brought in football food and watched a game he could barely stay awake for. But we watched it together. We held hands. He laughed at my involvement in the game. Hospital staff wandered in to watch with us and nibble the things he could not eat; his digestive system had already shut down. There was so much sweetness and sorrow in that room. I remember telling myself that there was still a chance we could watch again next year, even as I knew it was a lie. He was so tired by the end but didn't complain. Kevin loved having us around him. We loved being there, even in that room. Even in the hospital. Even at what we didn't dare name as the end.

I haven't watched a single game this football season. I turned one on back in the autumn and watched barely a quarter. It wasn't fun without him here to tease me. When I was in restaurants with games playing I would keep half an eye on the score, but it was so much more interesting when he was here to explain the rules, to review strategy with me.

I recently overheard a conversation between two women. They were discussing how glad they were that the football season was coming to an end, they were tired of being football widows. I didn't say anything, but I thought I am a football widow now  and it had an entirely different meaning. I would do anything to have him here, ignoring me for a game. I can do nothing.

On Sunday I will watch the Superbowl. I will make myself some kind of game day food. I will yell at the tv in the unresponsive room and turn away from the ads designed to make me cry because I am already so close to tears. I will admire the strategy, athleticism and power. And I will remember what it is to be part of a team of two.

(44 weeks. Bull.)

(c) 2015 Laura S. Packer Creative Commons License

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True Stories, Honest Lies by Laura S. Packer is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.
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