October 10, 2009

"I HATE Bowling"

Today Alex hated bowling. I know this is because she hates that Lucy died. She also does not want me to talk to her, or go anywhere near her. The usual hug therapy does not work. Distractions are the only medicine I can find, especially a big dose of music.

The Special Olympic Regional Bowling competition was held today. These competitions are very professionally run by the Special Olympics of Colorado. The local Knights of Columbus or Lions Clubs provide volunteers and lunch. There are opening and closing ceremonies, which include the Olympic Oath and the National Anthem.

It is very heart warming to see the disabled athletes participate and have a great time. I take pleasure in talking to the adult athletes and listening to their stories. Today I enjoyed a long conversation about the local high school football team that can never win in their home stadium. Michael was very concerned this curse would last forever, despite my assurances to the contrary.

We got to the bowling alley at 8:30 along with six other teams in the 200 mile radius. Alex was on lane 13 with two other bowlers. The rest of her team was spilt up according to the qualifying scores. The competition consisted of two games and the scores were added to determine the winners. Each lane had its own ceremony. Alex came in third.

Alex bowled her two worst games ever. I knew she would never be able to top her best score of 100 – but thirty points away? It must have been very hard for Alex to see the lane clearly with tears in her eyes. Parents were not allowed in the pit – so I was not able to comfort Alex. I knew she was crying about Lucy, as she has been off and on since Wednesday night. Without the distraction of her coaches and teammates she fell apart.

Our grief-stricken daughter walked over to us after the second game. All she said was "I hate bowling". She participated in the award ceremony – and then went over to the corner, crying and told me to go away. I left her alone – but my heart was heavy with her sorrow. When lunch was announced, I was able to get her to go eat – no surprise to me!

We left a bit early – and as I went to say my thanks to the Coaches - Cammi asked if Alex wanted to go to States. This involves practicing for four more Saturdays and then spending the weekend in Denver. Earlier in the season we had decided this was not something we were going to do, there are too many other things going on Saturdays. Alex was okay with this decision.

The NiƱos were allotted four girl spots for the State competition. This means there is a spot for Alex, so knowing how much she hates bowling, I thought it was a good time to ask her (at least for my sake!).

I  will not share the expletive I silently mouthed when Alex told me she changed her mind. Suddenly, Alex likes bowling again and wants to go to the States. Darn, Darn, Darn!!! I know she just wants to party with her team - can't blame her - and it is a distraction.

We will go bowling for the next four Saturdays, head to Denver in mid-November and keep Alex as distracted as we can. Her grief may last weeks or months. I really do not know.

I just know we all miss Lucy.

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