Tuesday, May 10, 2011

An honor for Mike

We went to Florida last week for a tennis tournament. As a sportswriter, one of Mike's duties every year was to cover the MIMA Foundation USTA Pro Tennis Classic. It was one of the things he liked about his job. It seems he made an impact on them as well. They named one of the competitions after him: the "Mike Cherry High School Skills Challenge."

Lisa, Madison, Julia and I attended the award ceremony. It was very nice. Such an honor. But also a little more emotional than any of us expected. As we get close to the one-year anniversary of his death, I'm starting to worry that I haven't really grieved. At least not properly. And I'm scared it's going to catch up to me.

For one, I don't have time to stay in bed and cry. I have a 4-year-old who needs to be fed, dressed and tended to. I have to do some work keep a roof over our heads. I have to clean and do laundry and yardwork. But also, I try to avoid situations that will really let me feel the pain. I haven't had more than a couple glasses of wine at one sitting in a year because I'm afraid of totally losing it and being one of those sobbing, hysterical drunks.

What I've just been doing this past year is moving. Moving. Moving. Moving. I don't sit still. It's all about constant distractions. This doesn't mean I don't think about Mike every second. And sometimes, something will stop me in my tracks and bring me to my knees. Like a few months ago, I came across his glasses and I was just standing there holding them in my hand. I started picturing them on his face and then I realized I couldn't remember which of his eyes was the lazy eye. He had one pupil that was a little lower than the other. It was barely noticeable. But I noticed. And now I can't picture it. And that was more than I could bear. Am I starting to forget?

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