Growing up in Washington and Oregon, I knew it was fall because the weather cooled, the leaves changed and the wind came. And fall meant football was on the television every Sunday.
Now, living in Arizona, I know it is fall because football is back on and pumpkin spice is everywhere!
I love fall. I love all things……well most things……pumpkin spice flavor. And I love football, a love I get from my mother.
My mom grew up in a time when women didn’t really watch football……that was for the guys. The men watched the game while the women sat around………mostly in the kitchen……gossiping and eating and cooking. But not my mom. She watched the game!
As a child, every Sunday mom took my sister and I to Sunday School and then the rest of the day was for her to watch football on tv. That was in the days when more than two games aired……there was a lot of choice for her as to which game she watched. Sometimes I watched with her and sometimes I went outside and played. But the memories surrounding those fall Sundays have stuck with me……as I got older I paid more attention to the games and to who my mom was rooting for.
We didn’t have a team in the Pacific Northwest for her to support until 1976 when the Seahawks formed. So, mom did get to see the beginning of a team I have supported since the start. Mom would be amazed at how far our team has come through the many years.
Super Bowl games were a big deal for mom. She always had her team and cheered them on during the game, though she was never quite as loud as I am during the game. The last Super Bowl mom was alive for was the Cowboys vs Steelers game. I remember that game and the day as if it just happened. Mom loved the Cowboys. And she wanted them to win. So, of course I had to watch the game with her and cheer for the Steelers. I cheered loudly, jumped up and down when the Steelers scored and gloated when they won. Mom let me. I think she was just pleased that her love of the game had rubbed off on me.
I have loved football ever since. And I love it the most when my team is playing. Mom was quiet in her support, muttering to herself when her team didn’t do well and quietly celebrating their victories. I don’t remember her ever jumping out of her chair to celebrate and yell in frustration. But I do those things. I have been told I am quite entertaining when my team is playing…….mom would laugh at that and would not be surprised by my exuberance.
Football brings back wonderful memories for me, of my mother and time spent with her on Sunday afternoons.
Last night I thought about my mom a lot as I sat in the Stadium here in Arizona and watched our team play. I felt my mom there with me. She would have loved being there, watching our team play and hearing the fans supporting both teams. It was a crazy game, but mom would have loved it.
Football means fall is here.
And football brings warm, fun, loving memories of my mom.
And memories are what keep her alive for me and allow me to feel her presence……still…….here with me.