Yesterday was the biggest football game there is, and our Chiefs came out Champions. Growing up in Kansas City, the hometown love was instilled early. There is no other professional football team for me. I have swiped no to people on dating sites simply because they are wearing a Raiders jersey. There are some lines you just can’t cross as a Chiefs fan, and I don’t want to be disowned by my family.
Tony and I watched almost every game together. In the early years of our marriage, we even had season tickets with my parents. After kid number two, it was hard to justify the cost and time commitment. Nor did it help back then that we were not a winning team. Even without tickets, we still centered our Sundays around the game.
Celebrating the 2020 Super Bowl after a 50-year drought with Tony is one of my favorite memories. Years of loving, watching and rooting the team on no matter the record culminating in a heart pounding victory is hard to top.
Yesterday started off quietly. I cleaned up the house and patio, getting ready for the watch party. Once everything was setup, I sat down to toast him. He didn’t post on Facebook much, but you could always count a Sunday Bloody showing up in your feed from him. So, I made myself a Super Sunday Bloody, sat on the patio he built and told him I loved and missed him.
As game time drew closer, the anticipation built, and I was thankful to be surrounded by friends. Once we kicked off, my mind was focused on the game. Until the 4th quarter when Kadarius Toney ran 65-yards on a punt return, I couldn’t help but think yes Tony, carry Toney on! Whether Tony actually had anything to do with the run is irrelevant. It was a way my mind could bring my Tony into this game.
As the seconds clicked down to zeros, I could feel a shift. We were going to win and he was going to miss it. On one hand I was so ecstatic to be a part of this team ready to bask in the glory. On the other hand, I felt the sorrow of missing my partner that I should be celebrating with. So, I did both. I smiled, raised a glass of champagne, and cheered the win while my heart slowed for Tony and my eyes glistened with a few tears.
This win was the definition of bittersweet for me, both pleasant and painful. And isn’t that almost the definition of life as a widow? It is painful but it can be so pleasant too, and that is just life.