I’ve often heard people say that if you start your day on a positive note, a happy thought, willing yourself to have a good day, you will reap the rewards of what you sew.  I wish I could say this was always the case, but there are clearly events that dictate our happiness that are beyond our control…

I’ve known for a while that this week would force me to relive parts of this past January.  I’ve written about my dread at having to prepare Micah’s headstone–just thinking about it brought up enough sorrowful thoughts, but today was the day that we would actually sit down with a monument company to design the stone that would forever mark Micah’s final resting place.

Knowing that meeting was coming, I consciously tried to start the day with a positive thought–a wild plan to do something spontaneous that would make me happy.  I bought plane tickets to fly to Chicago–to spend Saturday, October 29th in Wrigleyville, across the street from the Friendly Confines as the 101 year-old ballpark hosts Game 4 of the World Series–the first World Series games played at Wrigley Field since 1945.  I knew this was a risk.  See, the Cubs haven’t won the National League Championship Series yet.  As of this morning, they were tied at one game apiece with the Los Angeles Dodgers.  But the Cubs have been resilient all season, and are popularly considered to be the best team in baseball.  Alas, the best team in baseball doesn’t always play in the World Series…  Still, for a relatively cheap pair of one-way tickets ($110 total, less than one-third the typical round-trip price from Phoenix to Chicago), the chance to be at (around) the ballpark during a World Series game was worth the risk.  No, I won’t likely be inside the park–as of yesterday, potential STANDING ROOM tickets for the World Series at Wrigley Field are going for well over $2,000 per ticket.  No, I’ll be content to just be in the neighborhood, across from the ballpark, ready to celebrate in the streets if they should happen to win the game.

Positive thoughts and wild, spontaneous plans setting up my day should help me through, right?  No.  It did not take long before my mind started to drift to Micah and the idea of designing his monument–his headstone.  As much as I tried to change the backdrop, to move away from the sadness, I could not.  The morning was a little bit of work and a lot of trying to maintain focus…and a fair amount of tissue wiping away tears.

The appointment itself was anticlimactic.  Very dry, surprisingly unemotional, yet my inner monologue was going off the rails as I considered the magnitude of what we were discussing pricing options for.  Even after leaving the monument company office, I found myself calling a second company because, well, whether this was a headstone or an electronic gadget, I was not going to be happy unless I did at least a little shopping around.  The phone call paid off, as the sales person I spoke to from the second company seemed much more enlightened as to how to prepare a headstone for a Jewish grave, and the prices were possibly as much as $150 less for the same basic product.

Here I was, thinking about a headstone like it was a flash drive or a computer monitor or a 4K television.  What on Earth is going on with me that I could reduce buying a permanent memorial to my late 15-year old son to the equivalent of comparing cell phones?

My beloved Chicago Cubs did not help my mood this evening.  They continued their extreme hitting anemia, managing only four hits off former Cub Rich Hill and the Dodgers bullpen.  On the same day I commit to an impromptu, barely one day trip to Chicago, the Cubs put up another stinker 6-0, now down two games to one to the Dodgers.  Does this mean the Cubs are done?  No.  It’s a Best of Seven series, so the Cubs can still win three more before the Dodgers win two more–and advance to the World Series.  BUT unless someone or something wakes up their bats…  Where are Jobu and his rum when you need them?

I ended my evening by scorekeeping two hockey games: a 16AA game featuring a number of Micah’s former teammates and friends from other teams and then an Over 40 Adult League game.  The experience was pretty hazy–but there were several moments, looking out at the ice, thinking about how Micah should be there, picturing him doing his kick-slide skate from the bench to the net after a time out or the end of a between-periods intermission.

Now, here I sit at 12:15am Phoenix time, sleepy–but unable to sleep.  Tired but unable to rest.  Sad…  Maybe tomorrow will be better.