Well, it has been a minute since I have written anything on my little page but, here I am, at it again. I guess I just haven’t had anything of substance to talk about but lately, something has been weighing on my mind. Usually when that happens, the only way I can resolve it is to write about it. I can get what I want to say out in the open, share it with you, my friends, family, what few followers I have on this site and can let it go. This is one of those times.
This past weekend, my family and I attended the Mississippi State/Alabama game in Starkville, MS. Now, I knew, along with just about everyone else in the country, that this game was going to a long, brutal one for the Bulldogs and their faithful fans. Alabama, year end and year out, has one of the best teams in the country. Mississippi State on the other hand, well….let’s just be nice and say they are having a down year. Truthfully though, even on an up year, the wins against Alabama are few and far between for the Bulldogs. Knowing what was in store for the game, I decided just to make the best of it and enjoy a beautiful fall day in the Magnolia State.
My son, Ethan, is now attending Mississippi State which has always been his dream school. He even wanted to play football for the Bulldogs at one time but, decided he had had enough football after high school and hung up his cleats. We got him an apartment, he is living the college lifestyle and I could not be more happy for him. He is only gone Monday thru Friday though, as he comes home every weekend to see his girlfriend Abby. She is a sweet girl who keeps him in check and seems to enjoy hanging out with us. Saturday morning, My wife Anna, Abby and myself headed east to Starkville and Ethan’s pad (he spent all week cleaning it up I am sure).
We arrived in at his apartment and after the initial shock Anna and Abby had over the state of his apartment, we got in our Uber and headed to Davis Wade Stadium, home of the Bulldogs We arrived about 10 minutes before kickoff and as you know, that is no where near soon enough to be trying to get to your seats on game day. By the time we sat down, the Bulldogs were already down 14-0. As I said, we knew this was going to be a long day. I has arranged for us to have our picture taken on the field with Bully, the Mississippi State mascot. Down 21-0 did not damper our spirits as you can see:
The game ended as expected, a 38-7 whipping at the hands of the tide. After the game, Ethan wanted to show us his campus. As we walked along the sidewalks of this beautiful place, my mind wandered to thoughts of my mother, Mom passed away in March of this year and not a day goes by when I don’t think of her. But this day, I could feel her presence as we walked around, as if she were walking step by step with us. My mind filled with memories of days spent with my mom. Game days, weekend vacations, holidays, etc…all great times spent with the woman who has been my heart for as long as I can remember. Ethan would show us where he went to class, where he hung out between classes and most importantly, to him anyway, where the gym was. He was taking pride in showing his family around and I could tell he was really enjoying it too. I imagine my mom enjoyed it to as I know she was smiling and beaming with pride over her grandson. I know she would be so proud of him today. It was at that moment that it dawned on me that we were making memories right then and there. Years from now, Ethan will look back on this day and not think about the thrashing that the Bulldogs had taken, he will remember fondly of showing his family around and how much fun we had that day. I hope it will be a great memory for him.
The more I think about it, the more I come to realize that my wife and son won’t remember how much money I made, how much I spent on them or what I material stuff I gave them, They will remember days like Saturday. us doing something together that you look upon when you are having a bad day or a solitude moment. We only have a short time here in this lifetime so we need to make as many great memories as we can. I am guilty of putting too much emphasis on work. I put off trips, adventures and activities due to my job, it is how I am wired. When the Good Lord decides (hopefully) that he is ready for me, what memories have I left for my family? I don’t want it to be, “Well, dad worked all the time so, that is how I remember him” or “My husband never missed a day of work”. I owe them better than that and so do you.
I am going to make a conscious effort to spend more time making memories and less time worried about making money. Don’t get me wrong, providing for your family is very important but, if you don’t spend time making memories with your loved ones, will money be all they associate you with? I don’t want it to be that way for my family. You have to have a balance and as they say, “All work and no fun makes Ricky a cranky a-hole!!” So this weekend, I am going to work until 1:30 on Saturday, then go get my family and head east to Starkville once again to not only see the Bulldogs play and maybe win a football game but, to make more memories like this: