Wednesday, May 4, 2011

For Joe, Louise, and Most of All Me

Frankly, for various reasons, I have been trying to quit my bowling league ever since I joined which was, nine years ago.   The reason I bring this up now is because,  yesterday the sign up sheet for next season was passed around.

For the first seven years, each time this sheet came around, I would hint that I would not be coming back.  Louise the senior member of our team (she was 72 at the time) would smile at me sweetly and say, "Don't even think of checking that No box."

Last year at this time,  my entire focus was on my son and his illness.  I couldn't even think about what the next day would bring, let alone think about next September.  So I indicated that I needed time to decide and I put a question mark down on the sheet.  Even Louise's "sweet" smile would not be able convince me to change the question mark to a yes.

Erica, the president of the league,  called me several times during last summer to find out if I had made up my mind.  Finally I told her that I was sorry, but  I really was not in the frame of mind to bowl. I told her that  I would not be coming back.  Apparently, Erica was not going to take no for an answer.  She spent a good deal of time talking to me. She very compassionately  pointed out that the worst possible thing I could do would be to cocoon myself in my house.   She said, "you have to get out."  So I said yes.

Which brings us to yesterday.  The Tuesday Morning Ladies League sign up sheet for next season was sent around.
I have to mention Louise here.  One of Louise's passions is bowling.  She started off the season with us.  But after only a month, she became ill.  Louise is 81 years old now.  She was very hopeful that after her open heart surgery, she would be back in time to finish out the season.  Sadly, that didn't happen.  She is now living with her son and most likely will not be able to bowl in our league again.
So, since Louise and her "sweet" smile were not there to influence me, I decided to be very decisive. I most definitely would not be coming back next season.  I aggressively wrote down a NO.    Okay it was more like no.

It took Erica about one minute after she received the list with my no to come over to me.    "What's this?', she wanted to know.  I looked up from my knitting and smiled at her.  "I was expecting you," I said.

She said, "You can't quit, we would miss seeing what your latest knitting projects are.  "You know,  I bet Louise would love to know that even if she can't bowl you would bowl in her honor. "  Darn her!

I explained to her why I was saying no.  I told her that trying to cope with the fact that my son has cancer has not gotten any easier for me.  "It takes so much energy for me to even get up and out," I said.

 Then she pulled out the big guns and she asked me if my son had stopped living his life.  "No," I said.  He goes to work every day,  he enjoys time with his wife and son.  They even took a trip up to Cooperstown, NY last month to visit the Baseball Hall of Fame."  

"Hmm,"  she said, "So your son copes with his illness by living in the moment, right?  Isn't that the best way?" she wisely asked.    

I told her that I would think about it.    She said, "Okay, you do that.  But I have to warn you, I will be calling you and you will be changing that no to a Yes."

She's probably right.

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