Friday, January 11, 2019

The Chicago Bears and an old photo

I really don't do football. I can't really enjoy a sport when I know that the young men are seriously risking their futures for my entertainment. As I go through TBI with my friend Henry, I feel this even more keenly. Baseball is a more graceful, fairer game and the injuries are seldom brutal.

Still, I am happy for the Chicago Bears and their fans. The 2017 team was 5-11. The 2018 Bears were 12-4 and finished first in their division. Last Sunday, they faced the defending Super Bowl Champions and were in it until the end, when the placekicker missed. 16-15 final score.

That was Sunday. In Monday's mail, I got a photo. My aunt sent me a picture I took on Christmas Eve in 1983. It was my family around my Uncle Ted's fireplace. It made me so happy to see him again. And my late grandmother. My mom was refusing to look at the camera, which amused me. She hated having her picture taken. While I don't remember that Christmas celebration, that 1983 was exactly how everyone looks in my mind's eye.

Even my dad. He had less than a decade left to live. He was only his 50s, but looked much older. High blood pressure, high cholesterol and too many cigarettes. He was an unhappy, unhealthy man and it shows in his every line.

He was a Cub fan, but I didn't like watching games with him. For me, a Cub game is 3 hours with my guys, with players I have genuine affection for. For my dad, that was ever enough. A win was probably too close, or marred by an error. And a loss! What else could you expect from The Lovable Losers? He was gone long before the magic 2016 World Series season. I'd like to think that he would have at least taken joy in that. I take comfort in thinking of him in Heaven, with my grandparents and my uncle, watching Rizz make that last out.

He loved the Bears, too, but they made him miserable. Because the pace of the game is faster and more aggressive, his response was louder and more passionate. I remember him bouncing around in his recliner, groaning and yelling and complaining. How can you enjoy a game with all that tension swirling around?

He would not have enjoyed the 2018-19 Bears season as a worst-to-first scenario. He would have concentrated on that last, missed kick.

I don't think it's an accident that I received that photo on the day after the Bears game. I am keeping it on my desk. Not only because I'm happy to see my uncle, my mom and my grandma. But because seeing my dad reinforces my OneWord for 2019. We can't let one final play diminish a winning season. We should be enjoy the first-place finish, not dwell on the missed kick.







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