Well, today marks the 8-month "anniversary" of Tom's plane crash in Chapel Hill, NC. I guess I have resigned myself to calling it an "anniversary".
Unlike other "anniversaries", I did not go to the cemetary at precisely 3pm, which is the approximate time of Tom's death. I went at 11:30am, on my way to the golf course! I recently joined a golf club that Tom had wanted me to join for years. We were social members at this particular club for about 2 years, in the beginning stages of my golf game (I have only been playing for 4 years now). It's a really beautiful, but very hard, course. Every Friday night during the summer months, you can sit out on the patio, overlooking the 18th hole, and a bagpiper plays in the "woods", and the sound of the bagpipes resonates off of the stone clubhouse around the patio. It is really relaxing. Tom loved it there on Friday nights. I never joined as a full time member because I always said I "wasn't good enough to play there."
A few months ago, I had the opportunity to join, and so I did. I look forward to the summer months, when the bagpiper returns. Tom loved the bagpipes and I even had a bagpiper play the Marine Corps Hymn at his burial. He would be very happy to know I finally joined. I regret that it took his death to make me join, but his death has made me, as well as others, try to live life more each day at a time because you never know when it will be your last.
Today was supposed to be very sunny with a high of about 60 degrees. I asked a friend if he wanted to play at 9:00am, thinking I "had" to be done by 3pm to go to the cemetary for my monthly anniversary ritual. He said he could not play until Noon. Normally I would have hesitated, but this time, I did not. I said ok. We intended to play 18 holes, but the weather forecast was wrong (again) and it was quite cold. We quit after 9 holes. But let me tell you..............
I had a Par on 3 out of the 9 holes!!! On each of those Par holes, a small white plane flew overhead just as I was tee'ing off. I looked up at the sky and said "Tom - will you stop it - you are making it hard for me to concentrate." And then I went on to par the hole!! These were not easy holes! I think this was Tom's way of telling me that he was glad I was going to be at the Club at 3pm instead of sitting at his gravesite. Even my golf partner said "what is going on with these small planes flying overhead on your tee shots? Tell Tom to stop it." LOL!!!!!
After we decided to quit at 9 holes, we went in to the Clubhouse for a bite to eat. I anxiously watched the clock - as it was nearing 3pm while I was still eating. For a split second, I wanted to hurry up and finish my meal as I could make it to the cemetary by 3:00pm. But I didn't. I stayed and enjoyed the time with my golf partners. I am glad I did.
I think this is a huge step for me. To break the cycle of having to be at the cemetary at precisely 3pm. And, oh yes, his marker is FINALLY installed. It looks nice - a bit splattered with mud with all of the rain we had, but it still looks nice. I even took a few pictures of it. I have included one here.
I am headed to Florida next week to visit with some friends. As luck would have it, I am now recently unemployed, the result of a merger with my bank and another bank. But I am not worried. This is small stuff compared to what happend 8 months ago today. I will be just fine, I am certain of it. I think I am supposed to take a step back right now .... and think about the next chapter in my life..the one without Tom. Maybe this is the time to start a new career.....a writing career perhaps? It certainly won't be as a professional golfer!
Tom always wanted me to pursue a journalism career - maybe now is the time. Stay tuned.
12 Mar 2011 16:31