Monday – February 2, 2015
All day I felt down, kind of depressed. Blank. Physically I wasn’t at my best which could have been a contributing factor to my less than perky mental state. My body was working double time to correct all of the bad decisions I made on game day. But a hangover created from pulled pork tamale pie, what seemed like gallons of mimosas followed by beer, and a grand total of about three ounces of water taken in over the course of twelve hours wasn’t the sole perpetrator of my condition. Sure, the game itself, or more accurately it’s outcome, was weighing on me too. Shaking my head everytime that final down replayed itself in my mind only served to worsen the migraine that was stabbing and thumping behind my eyes, but I couldn’t stop myself from doing it. That innate response to disbelief and disappointment couldn’t be controlled. Three feet and three chances squandered. Gah! Commence skull cracking head shake. But the Seahawk’s loss to the Patriots wasn’t really the true culprit in my sulleness either. Super Bowl Monday has, for a very long time, been a day of discomfort born of something much more than who won and lost or my level of indulgence from the previous night.
Sunday – January 30, 1994
I almost skipped the call that night, but it had become our tradition to talk immediately following the big game, so even though it was late and I had to get up super early, I called my parents. “I feel so bad for Jim Kelly” was the first thing my mom said. She wasn’t a Buffalo fan and had no stake whatosever in the final score, but the Bills had just lost their fourth straight Super Bowl. She couldn’t help but feel for the guy, that’s just how she was. After our brief grieving for Jim the conversation turned to the impending work week. I was excited about mine, having just started a new job that I already knew I loved. Mom, on the other hand, was dreading Monday. Her job brought her a great deal of stress and anxiety. She had even managed to find a way to get laid off, she hated it that much, only to be called back again. “Why don’t you just quit? It’s not worth it to be so miserable” I pleaded. “It’s not that easy” she sighed and then quickly moved the focus back to me as she often did. “I’m so proud of you. You’ll be running that place in no time” she would tell me during the final moments of our call. She was right, but I would never get to share that with her. Not really. I was 25 and just had the last true conversation I would ever have with my mother.
Monday, January 31, 1994:
“Christina there’s a call for you” my boss said with a bit of irritation peppering the message. “No one knows this number” my response infused with fear and confusion not apology. My chest instantly felt just like it had during all those summers of my childhood when my sister and I would challenge each other to a game of oxygen deprivation, swimming lap after underwater lap in our backyard pool. “No one knows this number” I said again, this time to myself and with barely enough air left to make it audible. As I numbly made my way across the restaurant toward it’s small office to take the call I shouldn’t have been getting, I knew. I choked out a shaky hello as I rested my forehead against the cool desk for support. When my sister’s voice came across the line from thousands of miles away my legs began to shake uncontrollably, forcing me to take a seat. Before she could get out any words beyond my name, I knew. “It’s Mom. She had a heart attack this morning at work. She’s probably not going to make it. You need to come home as soon as possible”.