Love, Loss and Football


I used to look forward to Sunday football day in America. Look forward to mixing up this week’s version of my Grandma Maybelle’s Wisconsin chili, and preparing the tiny cocktail wieners to lazily bathe in red currant jelly and yellow mustard. Look forward to the harried last minute house cleaning to ready for a last-minute gathering of stragglers braving the long drive up our mountain with a half an opened box of PBR cans.

Look forward to watching the game with my best friend, who is now my ex-husband.

The breakdown of my marriage gutted my life, and so knocked me off course I no longer found the desire to put effort into things I used to enjoy, and that defined me. For more than a year, the pain and confusion and loss covered me like a too heavy blanket. I couldn’t work. I couldn’t sleep. I could no longer find adventure or reward in cooking tasty food for others… I just. Could. Not.

Even breathing hurt. Inhale. Exhale. Inhale. Exhale.

I even quit cooking for my dog.

Today is the big game, and it feels more like an assignment to be completed, rather than enjoyed. Bags of depressing oven-ready food wait their turn in the 450-degree heat. And, just when I think I’ve gained some ground, loss continues to permeate my being, and it’s especially heavy today. Though my ex-Mr., at times, has been known to display both extreme and questionable game time-behavior, he is a fan, passionate and true.