1. The Saints won the NFC Championship
It was an incredible time to be a Saints fan. The noise in the Superdome was off the charts. The game was tight throughout, and without all the Vikings mistakes we were sunk. The interception by Tracy Porter, the first of two incredibly important picks in his career, put us in a position to win. The field goal by Garrett Hartley sealed our ticket to Miami. Our household was screaming—a neighbor told me you could hear it down the street. Hell had indeed froze over. My son David and I began thinking about the kind of dress we were going to buy in honor of Buddy D, and we all wished we were in the Quarter to celebrate.
After watching both games this last weekend, they just didn't feel as “electric” as last year's NFC Championship game. No doubt, the Packers haven't won in a long time and their fans deserve to see another Lombardi. I am happy for both the Steelers and Packers' fans—I know how they feel right now. I hope that New Orleans is in the Super Bowl next year—if there is a season next year.
2. I was on my way to Arizona....
I had learned the day before the NFC Championship game that my mother had taken a turn for the worse in her health and was indeed on her death-bed. My sister told me that if I wanted to see her one last time that now was the time to come. I had time to “relax” during the NFC Championship game, but soon afterwards I was packing for the trip noone is prepared for.
I was able to spend one wonderful week with my mother—actually it was only three days before she basically went into a semi-conscious state. I chronicled all my thoughts here:
That week taught me quite a bit. Indeed, it was the final few lessons in life my mother taught me. First, I never want to die like that—I'm too much of a real wimp when it comes to prolonged pain. And I know she was on morphine, but once she fell into that semi-conscious state, who knew whether she really was in pain or not. Second, you only have so many years on this earth—make the best of those years. My mom had her ups and downs, but I truly believe she had done most of the things she wanted to do in life, with the final thing being to see my son David graduate from High School. I appreciate her spirit in life, and I still hope she is happy with how she raised me, even though I know I disappointed her more than I should have. Welcome to Japanese guilt.
One year ago this week.... And so much has happened since that time. The Saints won the Super Bowl, the Giants won the World Series, and I am so in love with my family that I sometimes wonder how one person could be so lucky in life. Life is good—it is truly good. And I have much to be thankful for right now.
Most of all, I am thankful for all that both my mother and father taught me. And I see some of those lessons passing on to Devin. And I really do see some of the spirit of my mother in my daughter Cece, and I see the my mother's empathy for mankind in my son David.