Ken's (Unsuccessful)Texas Transplant: The Aftermath
Our motto remains: FRIENDS ARE GOOD, AND FAMILY TOO!!!
Thursday, June 15, 2006 11:04 PM CDT
Tonight was the opening night of "Baseball in the Park" for our neighborhood. Everyone was invited to come play at 7PM in the newly named (by Charlie) "Ken Field". Such a great tradition, carried on by our neighbors Liz and Charlie Stone and supported by a whole cast of characters with beer, snacks, conversation...and, oh yes, a baseball game too. Guess who threw out the opening pitch...Mrs. Ken or should I say Ken's WIDOW. I have another friend who lost her husband when she was 36 years old...she told me she loved to use the word WIDOW just to shock people. I love her spirit. I also love that four years later she's sporting a new husband and a newborn baby...go widow go.
Alec had a tough decision to make since tonight was also the opening night of "Summer Chess at the Public Library", another regular summer event we've been waiting to begin. So he decided to spend half the night at the baseball game and the other half at the library playing chess. Good boy!
Then I had what I consider to be a great idea...what if, in addition to our lovely arc-shaped seating area on paved brick which we're planning to put in the park in Ken's memory, what if we add a couple of chess tables in the same area?
Next on the agenda is Father's Day. Yes, I've been planning again. We'll start the day with the Ricky Byrdsong "Race against Hate". For those of you non-locals, Ricky Byrdsong was a Northwestern University basketball coach, an African American, gunned down by a white supremacist on a mission. So this race is in his memory. I figure since my kids have had such a lousy break, it's not bad for them to see that they haven't been singled out for special punishment but that bad things do happen...and then we have to go on and keep on and race on and join in and so on.
Later in the day, we'll meet up with Paul and Rebecca and Ken's parents at Tommy Nevin's Irish Pub. Ken just loved to take in Irish music there so I think it will be a fine way to think about him on Father's Day, our mouth stuffed with fish and chips and music in our ears. Irish music touched Ken's soul. It really made him happy.
And if you might be wondering HOW I AM, I will say that I am sadder now than I've been in a while. I now believe that Ken is not coming back...and summertime which normally makes me so happy and has been for so long now filled with such good times and happiness is a cruel reminder of all that used to be. When we take our traditional trips this year to the Laurentians north of Montreal and then Rockport Mass, we'll all be revisiting years of happy memories without for me the most important person there.
Along with the swimming and the cooking and the canoeing and walking and hanging out, this year we will carry out Ken's wishes to have his ashes scattered in these two places where he spent almost every year of his whole life vacationing and having a good time with people who mattered so much to him. In a final written note he even left a message to our kids: "You can choose a place for my ashes too, even if it's a place that I already chose, that's OK."
Who but Ken?