Sunday, July 6, 2008


Do you have a time of your life which is your favorite?

I think my all time favorite time of family life was when Jae was in Cheerleading full-throttle and Casey was playing in all of her sports programs. Abby woke up every morning asking "Where do I have to go today?"
Our schedule was absolutely double-booked and we felt as if we lived in the gym or at the ballpark.

I used to joke that I whenever I called the family for supper, they ran and sat in the car!! :)

After Jae's wreck, the schedule came to almost a screeching halt. Casey's softball team was wrapping up the season, and I no longer had a cheerleader living with me. Our calender still had a several things penciled in,.but they were no longer things I belonged to.
Cheerleading fundraisers.
Car washes.
Cheer camp meetings.
Cheer camp.
School cheerleaders get the summer off, but Competitive Cheer squads have no "off season". Jae, of course, was a member of both.

Fall came, season.
Friday night football games was where our family all gathered. I was one of the mom's who held the jackets, re-stocked the programs, planned the after game parties, HOSTED the after game parties, watched the cheer routines and dances, loved the band, loved the announcer (my husband!), etc...

After Jae was killed, those Friday night football games became the most painful of all nights. I went a few times,..but my eyes kept wandering to the far left corner of the cheer team. The sounds of the band evoked agony as I recalled her dancing to every song with her skinny legs and messy ponytail.
I just did not belong any more.
Where was I supposed to sit?
I couldn't sit with the other cheer moms, even though they would have welcomed me. It's hard to have school spirit and adore your daughter with someone dying beside you.
I couldn't pass the cheer moms up and go sit somewhere else. Think about it. Just too awkward.
I tried to sit in the press box with Ralph,..but my crying was a distraction.

I have been a North Pulaski Falcon since 1980, but I felt like a pitiful stranger. Walking along the bottom of the stands looking up for a seat was excruciating.
I flitted around, talking to everyone I know, trying to act like I was sitting somewhere else.

I usually ended up leaving early trying to hold in the sobs until I reached the car.
Occasionally I made it.

Finally, I just stopped going.

This week, Abby received her 9th grade band schedule. She is a terrific clarinet player and will be marching with the varsity Falcon Marching band.
You should see the schedule these kids have!

I put it all on my calender and felt anticipation and excitement for the first time in years.

I will belong once again.


Shannon said...

I'm so glad you are excited about Friday's again! Can't wait to have you as a fellow band parent. I never dreamed that band was competetive (as you and I both have competetive families) but they are. When you have the most awesome band ever it's a load of fun! Looking forward to Friday nights. We can do them together!

Beths Blog said...

Well I thought I posted but I guess not. You'll have to save me a seat on Homecoming night...I'll be there with the Princess to crown the new Princess. I won't know anyone anymore. Makes me cry to think we'll both always see our cheerleaders on that is in heaven and one is moving on. Neither will ever be forgotten and both will always be loved.