Day of Personal Infamy

Sunday, December 5 is a day that will live in personal infamy. I went to sleep at midnight Central time. I was alone in the guest bedroom at my parents’ house. I had agreed a couple of weeks ago to visit for a Titans’ game. I had the lowest expectations heading into a Titans’ game ever.

I had a dream that I was talking to my grandmother. In the dream I had a rare moment of insight and asked her if there was anything she wanted to pass onto me. She talked about running away to marry her husband, although I knew that wasn’t the real story. I couldn’t remember much of the details other than having the presence of mind to ask a question. I guess that was the point.

She died around midnight, so the dream probably happened around the time that she passed over. Alice Pert was 97 years ago and had finally given up. She had no food or liquids for four days before her body finally shut down. My dad has been relatively silent over the whole ordeal, which is about the same reaction that I would have. Us Laws absorb, and what we absorb comes out when it’s ready to come out. The following morning was full of phone calls making funeral plans and listening to condolences.

We trudged on as families do and went to the Titans’ game. On Saturday it was in the 50s and would have been a pleasant game-day experience. On Sunday it was in the 30s and snowing for most of the day. “Football weather,” as my dad said.

The Titans showed their usual amount of effort. My mom insisted that the defense gave up because they’re trying to get Jeff Fisher fired. I don’t think that. In the National Football League, each person is a corporation. There is a feeling of team unity but most everyone is playing as hard as they can. I saw the Jaguars kickoff unit and everyone looked like a serious athlete. These were the men on the edge of staying in the league. No, the defense didn’t give up. They were undermanned and struggled to do basic things like tackle. The score was 14-0 midway through the second quarter which meant the game was over. We stuck around. Kerry Collins kept underthrowing the ball when he had the wind at his back. There was no way that he was making a fourth-quarter rally against the wind. We left after an interception with four minutes to go.

I had on four layers. As we walked up the hill to head back, I pulled a hood over my head. It snapped the right arm of my frameless glasses. They had developed cracks in the last month and I had to get through December before getting replacements. It’s going to be a difficult month.

We drove home and didn’t talk about the funeral. We didn’t talk about the Titans. We had a tough week ahead of us. We’ll be in Pittsburgh later in the week assuming that we can get the body from Vegas to Pittsburgh. It’s going to be an impromptu family reunion, which should be slightly more fun than watching bad football in the snow.

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