I had conflicting feelings coming into this day. Stanford Women’s Basketball was a central part of our shared experience for the past 20 years. We attended every home game and quite a few away ones. Marian put thousands of hours into maintaining the fan website, with some help from me in the last two years. The team and their success or failure was always a good topic of conversation between us. And at least half the people we know to talk to are fellow basketball fans, met at Maples Pavilion or on the road.
So today was the first home game since Marian’s death. I had to attend — I’d pretty well promised her to keep following the team, and I would feel unfaithful to her memory to not follow through. On the other hand, I was getting emotional just thinking about going. The last time I was there was Marian’s last game; here’s a picture of us taken by one of our friends at that game:
I knew I’d have to be accepting of lots of “How are you” hugs and “We miss her” and so on. But as with all the other shared experiences, I need to re-inhabit this in my new person, or I’ll never feel comfortable.
So I went, and it was a pretty good experience. Our long-time seat-neighbor, Nancy (who coincidentally lost her husband to pancreatic cancer a few years ago) was kind and practical. Su stopped by and talk at half-time, and Don.
The whole experience was much improved by the team’s performance. On Day 1, in the afternoon, I listened to the audio stream as they lost ugly to Gonzaga, and actually thought, “Oh, Marian, I’m glad you can’t hear this…”; and this game was against Baylor, ranked #3 (Stanford is ranked #11), so it didn’t rate to be a win. But in fact the Cardinal took an early lead, stretched it to 18 points in the third quarter, and held on to win by 8. An exciting game in front of a large and very enthusiastic crowd. So it was a fun to watch and to cheer at, and people were very kind.
Before the game I walked to midtown and got some 9×12 mailers, addressed the packet for Via Benefits, and mailed it on the way to the game. On return I put a final coat of clear poly on that little table, and I think it’s going to look alright. If it does, fine, I’ll redo the tops of the two littler ones, which are also worn and stained. If not, I’ll have a judgment call as to whether to sand it down and try again, or give up.
Closed the afternoon watching Cardinal Women’s Volleyball in their national championship game. Did they win? I’m posting this now, before it’s over.