Wednesday, September 19, 2007


My Labor Day started Labor Day eve.

Couldn’t sleep. When I did it was horrible dreams. Had a bad feeling that going to Oshkosh was a bad thing to do. No particular reason why.

Once again I had made a “date” with John. Told him I would be there on Labor Day because after that my schedule – work & personal – explodes, and I will not be able to come to visit until late October.

Once again I wake to “Kryptonite” playing on the radio. That song haunts me like you would never believe.
- “as long as you’ll be my friend in the end”-

Yes, I’ll go. I don’t know why these planned visits always start out full of anxiety.

So I go. Beautiful weather and with all the rain we have had here lately everything was beautifully green.

It was pretty busy there. I didn’t know what to expect on a holiday. I sign in but then my locker doesn’t work. I had to ask for another token for a different locker. I actually made a guard smile with my self proclaimed idiocy. Oh the trouble I would be in if I actually said to the guards the things I am thinking. My thoughts aren’t mean or negative. They are fun, sarcastic & joking. From what I understand they would not like it and I’d become suspect.

John takes a long time to get to me so of course I start thinking something’s wrong - he is in trouble, he is refusing my visit etc, etc. etc. (Remember my paranoid mind). So I sit and I watch the room. I see the other visitors. You’d be surprised – yes, stereotypes but also every day people. It’s comfortable. I judge no one - I ‘m there. I’m normal. Right?
I see the guards are laughing & talking amongst themselves. I see John in the doorway waiting to be processed. (I always describe this door way as the old game – Mystery Date! The door opens and you hope you get what you are want – the skier, not the nerd). The guards are still laughing & talking. I can’t blame them. Who wants to work on a holiday? So after the door opens several times, I win. John – not the nerd.
The weather is so nice we go outside and sit in the beautiful garden.

We talk. We laugh. We each cry at different times for different reasons. I will say that this time some of the stories he told me shocked me. Being a student of sociology all’s I can say is WOW!!!
But even though he has his stories to tell about what he is going thru
he still listens to me complain about work, about my life (petty in comparison ) and gives me great insight, advice. I’ll say it again – that is what friends are for.

He asked me what I had going for the rest of the day. I told him I had to get home to watch the US Open.

Love these Grand Slam tournaments. I don’t play tennis at all but I am addicted to watching it. John said he was able to see some of it. I asked him if he saw Roger play. (Roger Federer of course)
John said no and he is still trying to figure out the scoring. That was me last year before my friend’s son explained the scoring to me. (we have plans to actually attend next year – NY – I am coming back).

Anyways, I am not an athlete at all but I love watching these tennis tournaments.
The US Open – Wimbledon etc. – any of the Grand Slams they show on regular TV. Why? Because it is a dignified sport. It is one vs. one. It is a physical and thinking game.

There is no “smack talk.” during play. No team rivalry that gets out of control. No drugs or alcohol, no slutty outfits. The fans may have a personal favorite but will applaud a great shot – a great play- no matter who makes it. They will applaud a great effort and from what I have seen from the past 4 years since I have been following, the winner of a particular match will (has) thanked their opponent for a great match and encourages them to keep up the good work and thank them for being their best. They encourage each other to do better. They thank each other for forcing them to be their best. They admit when an opponent does something better than them. When the loser of a game leaves the court they will often get as much applause as the winner in recognition of a great match. They are applauded for a job well done no matter what country they are representing.

It is fun to watch these players from year to year. To see how they improve each year. Perhaps it is do to a new coach, a new way of thinking or approaching the game, or lessons learned or maturity – experience.

So what does all this have to do with anything?

Well, life is all about dignity, respect and doing your personal best with what you are given and learning from your mistakes.

In this life we all have our personal battles – struggles- demons.
As long as we do our best with what we are given, learn from our mistakes, and are treated with dignity & respect, things will work out to how they are supposed to.

The “losers’ or “broken children” in this world, if given a chance & truly learn from their mistakes and personal battles, overcome their demons, just may come back bigger and stronger. They just may win their battle.
Will we applaud these new champions?

My Labor Day 2007 weekend ends up being great.

Lots of friends & family, great tennis (all my favorites won), good food, lots of laughs – I traded my sister organic tomatoes for organic corn – lots of great conversations that reminded me that my life is great.

I think about how the day started at 5:00 am – not wanting to get out of bed. Think about how happy I am that I was able to see my friend. Think about how now I am sad because I won’t be able to see my friend for about 6 weeks now.

I take comfort knowing that John is happy for me – for the events I have coming up - because these events are so overwhelmingly joyful for me and that I wouldn’t miss them for the world. Believe me – he is genuinely happy for me.

Sad, because as I experience these things that I am not able to call him at the end of the day to tell him all about it like I am used to doing.

We will write each other during this time but sometimes you just need to see the smile, the sadness, the joy, the sadness & joy in each other’s eyes – faces-body language - for yourself.

This entry of mine may have gone all over the place today. Kind of like a normal day.
You start out with one expectation and end up some where else.
Embrace that people.
That is life.
Life is short.

- kc

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