I’m back from my short trip to Florida. It was a very short trip because I promised Boo I’d be back by this morning to chaperone her class trip to the zoo. I wouldn’t have missed her trip to the zoo for anything…..I was right up there in the front with all the kids “oohing” and “ahhing” over the awesome little owl pellets with little mice skeletons in them too….)
I brought home this photo that my mom had in one of the cabinets. It was taken around 2002. It’s a photo of my dad, Diesel and I. My dad would ride Diesel around the neighborhood in his beach cruiser basket introducing him as his “granddog.” And my mom would make me drink freshly squeezed orange juice:
The reason I was in Florida was because my dad was being inducted into the Quail Ridge Sports Hall of Fame. The honor of the induction was presented to my mother:
My mom did an amazing job during her speech…..she reduced the room to tears multiple times. She ended with the idea that maybe my dad had a premonition about the USGA deciding to ban the long putter starting in 2016. My dad loved the long putter. We even buried him with his long putter. She joked that if my dad were here…. there would be no shortage of his new advice on reintroducing the short putter to the game….. to all those people he had convinced to switch to the long putter in the last 10 years…..
She was introduced by Kevin Hammer, a friend of my dad’s who was with him when he died. Kevin read a list of things he had copied down from my dad’s office…..notes that my dad had hung around as reminders to himself….on the lamp, on the wall, on the door:
have a great attitude
believe in yourself
play your own game
play one shot at a time
play with patience
commit to every shot
keep the game simple
play with no expectation
play with trust
never ever give up
During her speech my mom mentioned about how I was diagnosed with cancer just a few months after dad passed away. On the ride home, giggling, I told my sister:
“haha…..Mom called me the miracle child…..”
“Yeah, yeah….I know……and that makes me the test tube baby…..”
And in almost perfect unison we both chimed in (only because my brother wasn’t there to do it for us):
“….and the experiment failed.”
The other inductee that night was Ches Riddle. My dad would have been so proud to have been inducted with him. After my mom’s speech, the whole room was in tears…..and then Mr. Riddle’s speech lefts us all in stitches. He told a story about how he once bought a hot air balloon and took his wife up with him…..but he had a hard time getting the balloon to come back down to earth because of all of his wife’s hot air…..you had to be there. His wife moved over a foot when he sat back down. It was cute…..and it made my mom laugh harder than I’ve seen her laugh in a long time. So I’m thankful for that.
From the Charlotte Observer last Tuesday:
Golf’s Ultimate Gentleman.
I love that nickname.
It makes me so proud.
Dad was truly a gentle man.
Totally random, but as I’m writing this post Boo just asked the following questions…..so I had to document them somewhere and this seems like a great place….you don’t mind, right?
Is there no air in space to breathe?
Is Daddy allowed to look at your boobies?
Doesn’t this brush look like a palm tree?
Can I go to Grandma’s house and see the secret door?
Anyway, it made me sad to leave Florida because I knew it was probably the last time I’d see my parent’s house there. My mom has put it on the market. As I left it was like I was saying goodbye to that chapter of my dad’s life.
As I got on the plane last night I noticed there were what looked like duct tape marks around the plane door.. It was something my dad would have pointed out: hey Ash, look at the duct tape holding the plane together. And then he would have chuckled. I walked past the cockpit and I could hear the pilot whistling just like my dad used to. It was enough to give me the goosebumps. I made my way back to my seat and as I tried to get my heavy bag into the tiny bin I got flustered and a nice gentleman helped me. I sat in the wrong seat and inconvenienced a whole load of people. Another man put his hand on my shoulder in a very fatherly way to reassure me that it didn’t matter. No one does that anymore. As we sat there waiting for the plane to take off I realized that two of the flight attendants had been on my flight when I came back from my dad’s funeral…..and it had been an entirely different state and flight route. I’m not sure what the odd’s of that are but I’m pretty sure that’s like a one in a million chance. And all these little things made me think that my dad was there in some way.
It’s hard not to think about my dad when I’m on a plane….but I don’t get sad…I get inspired. When Kevin was introducing my mom on Wednesday he called my Dad “the Indiana Jones of Golf” because Dad was always seeking out a new adventure and he’d come back with unbelievable stories to share. I think about that and I pull out my laptop and I write down anything and everything that I remember about my dad. I write about hilarious family stories that we tell over and over. I write about the people I met on my trip and my new adventures with them. The flight attendants don’t even bother to ask me if I want something to drink…..they already know the answer will be “no thank you.” I ended up with 36 pages of writing on this trip.
One year ago today, my blood results were showing that my cancer wasn’t reacting to the chemotherapy like we thought it would. Reading back on that post it’s funny that I was more concerned about getting a new bra that didn’t look so wonky on the scan. I did get a new bra by the way. And now I’m in remission. Maybe the two are correlated in some way.
I’m happy to be home now. I miss my mom. I’m excited to watch a movie tonight with Mr. LBB. I loved learning about owl poop this morning. I watched a video my sister sent with the snow they got. God is good.
And now…..I’ll leave you with a slightly edited version of my dad’s list (substituting “life” for “game”)…….because I think everyone should have little notes like this hanging up around their house:
Have a great attitude.
Believe in yourself.
Play by your own rules.
Live with patience.
Keep life simple.
Live with no expectation.
Live with trust.
Never ever give up.