Cuda Nation is a very sad place today. Most of us knew Robert Wall, many of us considered him a friend. I met him when my kids were in the Middle School. He met my then very gangly daughter, who had very little self-confidence and told her she should play sports. Basketball he thought, she laughed at him and said no the uniforms are ugly, so he said how about Volleyball? Every time he saw her he encouraged her until she finally said ok, started working out with her brother and Coach Wood and never looked back.
I worked with Mr. Wall, as I called him, he insisted on calling me Mrs. Hicks (drove me nuts) for several years. I helped coordinate the activities of the baseball program as sort of a liaison between the athletic department, the coaches, the city, the parents. It was an interesting undertaking. We had many lively discussions and debates about many topics in his office, on the baseball field and in the gym. We often agreed to disagree but always left each other smiling. I ended up monitoring and administering Cuda Nation’s social media for him, along with some other fun things.
I ran into Rob and his wife last week at Beef O’Brady’s and we hugged and chatted, he asked about my kids, checked in on Sammi and reminded me that he was rooting for her. I reminded him it was he who was responsible for her playing sports in the first place. I told him I would see him soon. Today, I am very glad I ran into him and we took the time to visit. Next time you see someone across a restaurant, I highly recommend making the time to say hello.
Some other things you may not know about Mr. Wall, he was probably one of the kindest people. Truly, truly kind people are few and far between. Rob Wall was one of those people. He would literally take money out of his pocket to help a deserving student who needed help.
Before he left for his new adventure at Campbell Middle School he gave Tara Galloway, Dominick Amendolare and I an award for what he said was “a thank you for all you do for Cuda Nation.” Well, Mr. Wall, thank you for all you did for all of our kids, making them better students, better athletes but most importantly, better adults and better people. Cuda Nation is shedding tears for you today and tomorrow but we will remember you with a smile.
Memorial Day comes each year with the usual, three day weekend, four day work-week following the holiday. Beach, BBQ and Beer. Did you know there are one hundred and forty-six national military cemeteries, with more a million servicemen from all branches of the military buried there. Many more soldiers who are buried in foreign lands and just did not come home. Their battle is over and today is about remembering them. Every time I see “happy” Memorial Day or hear it I get annoyed. There is nothing happy about it. You can have your great long weekend but also remember what this day is supposed to be about.
So on with what I really came here to ramble about. A friend of mine lost her father this past week (yes he was a Veteran) he lived a long, happy life, he was nearly 88 years old. I remember him very fondly growing up, I spend many hours at his house on Steuben Street growing up. He was a very good friend of my father’s, they bowled together on Tuesday nights for 20 some years. I was very sad to see he had passed away as another one of his generation with their history and memories are gone. I was even sadder to notice that I had not chatted with his daughter, my friend since my Dad died last March. I went to send her a message and saw my last one with her was her condolences about my father. Time passes so quickly.
So maybe today, reach out to someone you have not spoken to in awhile and let them know you are thinking about them. They will certainly appreciate it. Now get back to your BBQ.
We really think we have time. All the time in the world. Time to do and say what we mean. Sometimes we don’t. You know those silly Facebook memories that pop up? I have been dreading them since February 1st. Today it hit, I got a “you became friends with”…it was Donna (her last name is incognito). I became friends with her because she was my father’s nurse at Bert Fish. He died, she is still my friend. He spent 2 weeks in intensive care at Bert Fish and then died at Hospice in Edgewater. It was all a blur, seriously a blur. I have seen pictures of my friends, my aunt and uncle, my kids, all sorts of people at the hospital. If not for those pictures I would not remember it. My daughter drew pictures on his dry erase board every day, he was so proud of them, my son visited in his Cudas Baseball uniform, he was so proud of him. I only remember because I have pictures.
Both of my kids refer to things that Grandpa did or said or believed or would have been horrified by…every day. It is amusing. He would be tickled to know just how he influenced them and is still so present in their lives. The last day he was at Bert Fish and really alive, I was sitting in his room, and he said “what are you doing today?” I said, ” I am going to hang out here with you.” He said “good, I hope I start getting better soon.” That was all, he was just glad I was hanging out with him. I probably should have hung out with him more. He died two days later. I have a huge hole in my life, my kids have a huge hole in their life. The good part is, they had him, we had him. He filled a spot for them that their own father didn’t. They will always carry their Grandpa’s love for them in their heart.
Don’t wait until you are sitting there in the hospital to appreciate someone.
I did not love 2015, it was a tough year. My Dad died, which is still hard to believe some days. My mother continues to deteriorate in a nursing home. I let go of some unhealthy relationships, and am much better off for that. There were high points, my son graduated from high school and went on to college. My business had a good year. Both of my children are healthy, responsible and kind human beings…I look forward to what 2016 will bring.
So on to that new year. I don’t do “resolutions” so I will call them suggestions. Some that we can all benefit from.
- Let go of guilt.
- Allow yourself to say No.
- Focus on what is important-what is important to me may not be important to you and that is ok.
- Realize there are some things we cannot control. Let it go.
- Say goodbye, leave the past in the past, that is where it belongs.
- Let grudges go. They take too much energy.
- Laugh…a lot. Laugh at yourself…even more.
- If something or someone is meant to be it will happen. Don’t force it.
- Who cares what other people think.
- You never really know what someone is going through, be kind as often as you can.
- Spend more time hanging out with your dog (or cat) they are amazingly understanding and therapeutic.
I wish you all a happy and prosperous new year!