Micah really ran on his own timeline. He worked at a different pace, in his own space. A young man that cared little for public perception–he was going to be who HE wanted to be, regardless what cost that decision might carry. He was a unique boy becoming a unique young man. I miss that young man–I miss my son.
Weekends like this remind me how much I miss him. It’s been a little over a year since Micah died, and I’ve helped run a few hockey tournaments–ice and roller–in that time. Each time, I go in with the belief that it will be easier, that with his death deeper in the background, I will be able to focus on the tasks at hand, keep my composure and help people enjoy their tournament participation. I have yet to be right.
My wife wanted to find a good weekend to go visit her niece’s family in San Diego. I figured, “Hey, I’ll be so busy with the hockey tournament and a bunch of softball games to call, she’ll never really get a chance to see me anyhow,” so I suggested she and my daughter head to San Diego this weekend. And then the rains came. The softball games got cancelled. I suddenly found myself at home feeling very alone.
I’m so used to spending these weekends with Micah–talking hockey, talking about his team, talking about my observations during the tournament, watching a movie or playing a video game. The eerie quiet, the impossible silence–they scream his name. At the rink, the questions are steady:
What team does your son play on?
How old is he?
What position does he play?
Is he here today?
Then comes the eventual–Why did he stop playing?
And finally, the real head-scratcher–Why are you still doing this?
Micah asked me that question a lot over the last couple seasons he played. I could never give him much of an answer, other than to say the hockey world was my social life–I loved being around people that I knew, that I could discuss so many topics with. I digress…
In each of those conversations, I reach the point where it comes out that Micah is dead. Now things get awkward for them–and downright painful for me.
Then my time at the rink ends for the day… And I go home, alone. I’m here now with my thoughts and memories, and a feeling of loss. I look at his pictures. I cry. I try to fall asleep.