Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Coping 101

I had a special relationship with my Dad. As a kid he used to take me to every sporting event in the Boston area. Red Sox, Pats, Bruins, BC, you name it, we were there. Our mutual love of sports carried on throughout our lives and insured that we always had something to discuss, no matter what.

I loved it when we could be together, but even when we were a thousand miles apart, we’d talk on the phone every night, sometimes for an hour or more. He would tell me about his day (especially the meals) and I would tell him about the family and his hometown happenings while we watched sports together. If he wasn't getting the game, I would often do play by play for him, so I was really lucky that I was here to watch the Patriots season finale with him, plus the first playoff game.

He slept through a lot of the Jags game. When he woke up the game was over and he asked me who won. When I told him the Pats he said "Oh, this changes everything. I’ve gotta get out of here now." It was pretty much our last casual conversation and it really summed him up. Always brave and funny, even when he was facing death.

Sunday night after the Pats victory over the Chargers I had this panicky thought that I hadn't called him to talk about the win, then I realized I was sitting in his living room. At first I got really sad, then it dawned on me that he'll be with me for every down and every at bat for the rest of my life. He’ll always be there with me when I’m watching our favorite teams.

That’s what I want you all to take away with you today. He was a man who touched a lot of people's lives. If he touched yours, use those little things that you shared with him as a way to keep him alive in your heart. If you just happened by and didn't know him from Adam, it's still good advice. We all lose people we love and we all need help coping with that loss.

And speaking of coping, take some time and check out Hospice Care if you're not already familiar with it. Very special place, very special people. Our experience was with Hope Hospice in Cape Coral, FL. and I can not say enough good things about them. They don't just help the patient, they help the whole family.

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