Monday, April 4, 2016

#SOL16: The New Normal

Downtown Columbus, OH (M.A. Reilly, iPhone, 2016)

Devon and I were in Ohio this past weekend, attending a Counter Strike tournament which sported a $1,000,000 prize purse and had teams from around the world competing. I know almost nothing about the game or the teams that competed. Devon began schooling me last week as we watched a few matches at home and I quickly began to get a handle on the teams, the objectives, and some of the strategies. E-sports are big in our home and before Rob died he told me that I needed to step in and support Devon in his interest in this computer game like he would have.
At the Tournament

Months ago this tournament was announced and it was the first time a Counter Strike major tournament was being held in the United States. Devon plays on a team and competes and so he was excited about it being relatively close to home. Unfortunately with Rob sick at the time we couldn't commit to going and though Devon is 17, he is too young to rent a hotel room. Like most things, Devon understood all of this and said it wasn't a big deal, but Rob and I each knew differently. With all that was going on with Rob, he and I forgot about the tournament and Devon didn't bring it up again.

A couple of weeks after Rob died I asked Devon about the tournament and if it had happened. He told me it was happening the first week of April and I asked him whether he still wanted to go. He was able to secure two tickets and we made the trip here. At that time when we were having these discussions most everything scared me. Losing Rob undermined my capacity to make simple decisions and to take almost any initiative. Even as I felt paralyzed, I recognized the need to act nonetheless. I have traveled all over the world with and at times without Rob. Traveling from the east coast to Ohio was hardly a sojourn. It felt important to do this and be here for Devon and so I booked the flight, arranged the hotel, and actually had a very good time with my son. It has been a long time since we were able to get away and though I had a few weepy moments thinking about how much Rob would have enjoyed this with his son, overall the long weekend went well.

This is the new normal. In getting on with living, Devon and I need to create new rituals, new memories. Nothing is harder and yet, nothing feels more necessary.  And though it may not seem like a big deal, going to Ohio this weekend was a start.

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