Don’t Slip

My husband played professional football. Although it was eons ago some of the coaching drills and techniques have endured the test of time. For example, if I’m standing in his way in the hallway or another room, he does this spin manoeuvre to dodge me. It’s really clever and stealth. He also follows a playbook for his life with routines and rituals. And sometimes he says things that are regurgitated from his coaches in the past. Things like “don’t slip”. You had a great play to make and your excuse for not executing was you slipped. Sorry coach; I slipped. Coach gets in your face and yells: don’t slip. Sounds simple.

I think we all have a moment or experience when we want to do something great and we don’t. Excuses aplenty. Luckily life is a lot more forgiving than a football game. That’s win or lose. In life if you make a misstep you can usually recover with minimal damage. It makes doing the right thing possible. You forget someone’s birthday or neglect to say thank you for a kindness. All recoverable. And sometimes actions speak louder than words.

On the sports field an error is in the public eye. Sometimes even on national tv to be scrutinized by millions. I think we are our own worst critics. Sometimes we try to justify our actions; quietly telling ourselves that what we did was ok. But even though the public isn’t watching (we think) we know in our heart. It takes courage and character to do the right thing.

My dad literally slipped last week. He fell while trying to pay a dental bill for $19. The portion that insurance didn’t cover. He cracked a few ribs for his efforts and is in pain. I was tied up for the weekend. My sister swooped in (I envision her in a cape) and took him to emergency for a check up. At 87 years of age who knows what other damage a scary fall can do. It’s hard to diagnose over the phone. Did you hit your head? No. Mom? Did dad hit his head? I don’t think so he picked me up and we came home. The riddlers. My sister was able to ascertain that he fell a second time trying to navigate the way to the toilet in the middle of the night.

Xrays confirm he’s okay physically. But it was the relief for his mind that the X-ray really cured. He’s my moms primary care giver. If he goes down she’s really stuck. His loyalty and commitment is heart warming and heartbreaking. We’ve learned a lot about that from him over the years.

I had some great chats over the weekend with friends. Loyalty and commitment comes in an array of shapes and sizes. As my sister is texting me with updates at emergency, my circle of friends (Rudy included) is offering comfort and empathy. Like a warm blanket when you have a chill. It’s the test of friendship: you have nothing to offer in return but you need help.

I lead my life trying not to slip. It’s a good feeling knowing if I do that someone’s got my back.

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