A Team of One!

If you ever ran into Tim and I when we were camping, you probably heard us before you saw us. There’d be laughing and joking and teasing. There was squealing when we rode our bikes or cheering when I made a great turn in Memory Maker I. We were a Team of Two.

I’d been sick for a few days before I picked up Memory Maker II on Friday and drove it home. I realized I probably wasn’t really sick, but instead was anxiety-filled over the first huge purchase I’d made without Tim. I was also terrified about driving it home solo….Who would tell me I was doing a great job, or that I needed to slow down or pay attention to my mirrors? For 36 miles, I was a Team of One, trying to encourage myself that I could do this! But I could still hear Tim’s voice saying “I’m right here in the passenger seat”. Good thing too, because a few people cut me off on the highway but I stayed calm through it all. I was really surprised when I arrived safely because I didn’t have one problem driving Memory Maker II home.

I could see the end of the RV in the mirrors, and the backup camera is spectacular! My confidence was high. I was proud. But when I got out of the RV as a Team of One, there was no one to hug or high-five with… (though my neighbor across the street came over and took my picture with Memory Maker II.) So what did I do? I burst into tears right on the sidewalk…I was happy, sad, proud, and nauseated all at the same time. I cried and cried until I couldn’t cry any more. I then spent about 7 hours over the weekend getting to know Memory Maker II and reading some of the briefcase full of instruction manuals on operating everything contained in the RV. A Team of One might be ok, and it’s better than no longer camping right?

On Saturday, I had planned to go see my Mom. But I didn’t. I stayed in and worked. Why? Because on this weekend, I wanted and needed my Mom. My Mom who could give me a hug and understand what I’m going through. I wanted her to listen to how I feel and tell me that she was there for me. As much as I love my Mom, I’ll admit that I this weekend I didn’t want to see the Mom she is today, I wanted my Mom from years ago, the best listener ever! I’ll go tomorrow instread to see her, because I’m almost back to my reality that Mom is probably going to be different every day for the rest of her life, but she’ll still always have the title of being my Mom.

Fast forward from Friday to Sunday. If you know me at all, you know that I’m a huge football fan. I dream of the opening weekend of football every season. While I’ve been a life-long Skins fan, I’ll watch any two teams play on any day. Yet I was very aware that I hadn’t watched one second of a pre-season game and didn’t see one snap of football yesterday. I was dreading this season like the plague. Sundays were our favorite day! We’d spend from the time we got home from church until late Sunday night watching football!! Tim and I would discuss play calling, penalties, and commentators, not your typical standard conversation for husbands and wives! Tim would make snacks or an amazing cheese tray and we’d have a ball scrutinizing every play as if we were a paid commentator!!

Of course I was very aware that the Skins were playing tonight. I got home from work and began to do other work… Prep for presentations and my upcoming security course in October. As 7pm arrived I got more and more anxious…. would I watch, how would I feel?? Then I got a text from, Alvin the best man at our wedding, wishing the Skins well…. so I turned to ESPN…. I’m not wearing my Skins hat, sneakers or jersey…The players came out on the field. That’s always when Tim and I would go over the game plan as if we were coaching (and they’ve never done anything we recommended!!). Tonight I didn’t feel excited, and as the National Anthem started I began to cry (and not because of the recent protests over the anthem.). I wanted my Team of Two back, the best crazed football fans ever! (you’d agree if you’ve ever watched or attended a game with us)… but my Team of One would have to do. I switched back and forth between the game and my favorite Investigations Channel, which I’d never ever do in the past.

I am learning a lot about grief, and it’s most certainly about doing things you’ve never done before, because you’re having feelings you’ve never had before. Now that it’s the third quarter of the game, I’m trying my best to embrace the Team of One. I had a piece of Tim’s favorite cheese in his memory, and cheered a first down. That’s all I can muster at this point, but it’s a step and I’m happy with any forward progress (notice the football analogy). I’ll probably go to bed in a few and look forward to the new day tomorrow. Who knows, maybe next game I’ll wear Tim’s favorite jersey – then at least I’ll be a Team of One with an Angel! Love and Miss you Tim!


8 thoughts on “A Team of One!

  1. It stinks being a team of one, but we will be a team of one in the best way possible because we have some important guys that would be proud. Way to go bringing Memory Maker II home!

    • Thanks Heidi!!! Yeah navigating this road is not a lot of fun!!! BUT as you pointed out, we’ve got two guys up there cheering!! So we “keep it moving” as I like to say! You & I will hang in there together!

  2. I know Daddy is right there with you and has been a guiding force in all the decisions you’ve had to make.

    I do know the pain of wanting your Mom there and there is nothing that can replace that. That too, though she is still physically here is loss and grief.

    As I read the post, I saw y’all as you always were on gane day….continuing the legacy your Grandfather started with you. You two eating Hydrox cookies and watching the game. Then you and Daddy. I look forward to the legacy you will begin with Kendal, will it be Oreos and Pirate Booty? I imagine all four of you together in body and spirit cheering on our team!

    We love you!

    I imagine watching a game campside on the outside TV. Though I can’t forecast games, I will cheer and boo just the same. Though your team captain is gone, you still have a rookie and cheerleader ready for game day!

    • Thanks Kim! I definitely still miss Granddaddy watching with us too!! You’re right about new legacy, though I have to honestly say I hadn’t thought of Kendal watching games with me, as I know she likes to do that with her dad – part of their own legacy. But yep once I learn to work everything in the RV we will be watching the outside tv and making lots of new memories. I’m sure there are lots of Pirate Booty in our future!

  3. Loretta, a beautiful, beautiful, beautiful post. You write with such clarity and charity, sharing your thoughts and feelings with care and love.

    As I reflect on what you’ve written, two principal words come to mind and heart: change and grief. The Team of 2 is now 1 and the mother of yore who would listen so well is no more. Change and grief. I am sorry.

    Another word arises for me: perseverance. You are carrying on! With Tim’s voice in your ear, his love in your heart, his presence in your soul. Continue, please, you stalwart spirit!

    (And, Lord, have mercy, yes! I’ve been around you and Tim enough during football season to know there are no two wilder, riotously crazy fans! Anywhere! Any time!)

    • Thank you Paul!! Change, grief and perseverance!! I couldn’t have said it better!! I’ll continue to press on!! Stalwart Spirit!! That fits me for sure!! What’s most interesting for me is learning something new every day, usually around the house. I frequently say……”so that’s how that works”!!

      And YES I do feel bad for all the times you were subjected to watching games with us, not to mention the times you went to the games with us and usually sat in between me and Tim. But at least there was lots of wine as we yelled, screamed and danced in the aisles whenever the Skins scored… But at least they are memories you’ll treasure with us (maybe)…. You were such a great sport about it!!

      Much love!!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s