It's Not About Me

Saturday, December 1, 2012 in Manhattan, Kansas

Started the day with four other precipice approachers in a church basement. We gather early on Saturday mornings to walk a spiritual path on a lifelong quest to get out of ourselves.

Namaste. The God in me recognizes the God in you.

(More or less). 

Jackie’s bff from college is motoring down from Nebraska with her eldest daughter, born the morning after our wedding night. If I can remember my anniversary (December 23, 1998) I can always remember this girl’s age.

My Heights High School wrestling coach (long since retired) sits in front of us at K-State football games. This season, he’s invited former colleagues. Last week it was my Geometry teacher. I get the impression these age 70+ duffers’d just as soon catch the game from the easy chair, thanks Coach.

This weekend

it's my driver's ed teacher. I was 15 when the man schooled me up in a 1973 Mercury Montego. 

Jackie says she’s tempted to lean over and announce:

“He still rides the brake.”

Yeah, but

he

also still reach

es

freeway speed before merging.

So there.

An email from my future daughter-in-law detailing her and my son’s crazy-bananas travel schedule over the next six weeks. As fourth-year med students, they're criss-crossing the country on residency interviews.

Nothing at stake here except the place they begin their journey as wife and husband... and as doctors. Chicago, Phoenix, Detroit, Salt Lake, Portland, Nashville and a host of others. It’s like three dozen flights in six weeks.  

Throughout the day, Jackie receives cryptic messages from one of her mentees, who amidst the chaos of a Division 1 Major College Football Game (my caps), will make it a point to wade through 50,000 bodies to get next to my wife to share the kind of news and emotion that can only be done in person.

When she finds us, she leads with the ring and i

s

literally radiant with happiness.  

I lean over and whisper in

his

ear, “Two words, my friend: City. Hall.”

He grins. Jackie and mentee do not.

At halftime, I bump into a good friend and former colleague. The kind you lose track of when you change jobs. We make a point to re-connect.

When the game’s still in doubt, we spot a buddy a section over with a worried look on his face and text him with a message to, in essence, chill.

He responded, “We are K-State. I worry.”

Fair point.

After the game, two already married friends find us. We traveled with this couple once to a bowl game in Phoenix (Insight-dot-com Bowl?) and had a grand old time. I plant the Fiesta Bowl seed. He’ll start germinating it

.

I like the way he thinks.

It's Senior Night. While Senior Collin Klein plays like a Heisman Trophy winner, Roman Fields, a kid from KCK who toiled in relative obscurity during his four years in the purple, registered a key tackle on special teams. I will miss them both.  

Oh, and btw, we won the Big 12 Championship.