Mid November I received a message from Mike, Football Mike. He wanted to let me know that he was not renewing the Saskatchewan Roughriders season tickets this year, and would I like them back.
“Give me a few weeks.”
This March marks five years since Dad suffered the hemorrhagic stroke that changed his life and our family. That first summer in the swirl of coming to understand our new world, no one used the season tickets. They sat, unused. That second season living in a fog, we tried to attend a game. I remember how Jessy Lee and I sat while the stadium stood during touchdowns. We cried on the way home. Attending games wasn’t the same without Dad. Not without Dad.
And we did have Dad yet, home from the Manor (care home) some games, snoozing in his old brown recliner.
Mike, who I found through a teaching colleague and never met, took over the tickets mid-way through that season. He kept me informed as our seats moved from the old stadium to the new stadium. He graciously gave us one game a season (which I never used. Some things being still too big to navigate).
“Give me few weeks.”
I posted a message to social media. I messaged a few friends. I asked Alan and I asked Jessy Lee. The days ticked on. I still received the email notification from the football club; only three more days to renew.
Time is such a tricky friend.
Five days before renewal Mike messaged, and then three days. “Cori?” The day before he forwarded the football clubs notification.
Oh, how I wanted to reply. ‘Mike, can’t things just stay the way they are? Just let be.”
Tickets are expensive. Commitment to attending games takes up most of the summer. Every other weekend we are at mom and dad’s, helping out. Alan and I thrive in the outdoors, trekking through the hills and adventuring. Sometimes, Dad might watch a quarter of a game, the weekends he is home. And we might watch it alongside him, sitting in the warm brown living room, in the warm brown loft mom and dad moved 200 kilometers to that lot by the lake, 40 years ago.
Maybe that’s its purpose. That room, that home, that world. The people: To live. And to live a little more.
After a while that sort of oozing of knowing that the seats had long ago stopped being ours came to rest in me. And I stopped checking social media, and let Mike be.
I replied to Mike, eventually, “Thanks Mike, for stepping up and loving the tickets for the past few years until we were ready, ready to let go.”
“This is the Saskatchewan Roughrider football club. We’ve noticed you’ve not renewed your season tickets. Monday they will be released to the public. You’ve been a season ticket holder for 35 years. Please give us a call if you would like to keep your tickets. Thanks you.”
Letting go. Letting go. Is, after all, our longest, longest game.