Would you give one kiss for the rest of your life? Would you live one year for all time?
One year ago I married my best friend.
We’ve packed a lot into a year. We’ve been to concerts, gone on road trips, we’ve laughed until it hurt, and we’ve some tears too (mostly the good kind). More than anything though, we’ve loved. We’ve filled our hearts with love for one another and for our family.
There are still so many moments that leave me wondering just how did this all even happen? How did I get here? Is this truly my life? And then she gives me that smile…the one that tells me exactly how much she loves me and I know that yes, this is my life…and it’s an incredible life.
We have this running joke about being at a point where there is “no turning back.” It could be in the grocery store when we’re deciding whether to get a Digiorno rising or pan crust. “Once this goes in the basket there’s no turning back.”
It could be about leaving the house. “Do you have everything you need? Did you remember to grab your water bottle? Once we pull out of the driveway there’s no turning back.”
It can be when we’re looking at something on Amazon. “Are you sure? Once I click ‘buy now’ there’s no turning back.”
The same happened when we bought our rings, got our marriage license, set a date, stood up in front of the kids, and so on and so on.
Yesterday was no different. “You know, the warranty runs out tomorrow. It’s our anniversary. There’s no turning back.”
No. There isn’t.
Would you give one kiss for the rest of your life? Would you live one year for all time?
Over 25 years ago I met my best friend.
Then we lost touch.
It feels like we missed out on so much. There are so many points along the way that I wish I could have gotten stuck in traffic for 5 more minutes, or caught a green light instead of a red one, or chose a different restaurant, or had one more coffee because looking back it seemed we always just missed one another.
“Oh you hung out there? That’s where I hung out!” “You were there that night? That’s impossible. I was there that night!” “You used to go there on Wednesdays? I always worked on Thursdays!”
But then we found one another again.
Through the years and miles between us we supported, encouraged, and comforted each other through every aspect of our lives. We were friends. We did our best to take care of one another, to remind one another that we weren’t in any of this alone. There were children, new relationships, divorces, school, finances, health, deaths, births, career choices, and everything in between big and small, compelling and silly.
And then we became We.
I’ll never forget the first time we held hands. I’ll never forget the first time a hug became a Hug…and The Kiss. Neither planned or anticipated, that single moment changed everything. We knew what we had and what we wanted.
Would you give one kiss for the rest of your life? Would you live one year for all time?
I love that she gets a little crinkle on her nose when she’s looking at me like I’m nuts.
I love that she is the last person I want talk to before I go to sleep at night.
I love how she bitesher lip and cocksher head to one side when she smiles at me.
When you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible.
One year ago I married my best friend.
Today is our wedding anniversary but every day brings another milestone, another memory, another first, another high five, another kiss, another day in the rest of our life.
It’s Our Life.
And it is an incredible life.
Would you give one kiss for the rest of your life?
Would you live one year for all time?
Happy anniversary my love. Thank you for this life.
I check my “memories” every morning. Sometimes random, sometimes laughable, there’s always something that brings a chuckle or raises an eyebrow in some way or another.
Yesterday’s was quite interesting indeed. Among the photos of Young Master Oliver playing in his sandbox and general musings on music there was a post describing how exhausted I was at the time in 2017.
I was drowning in work, school, parenting, household chores, some physical ailments etc. It was one of “those” posts. The phrase that resonated most was “To what end? An early grave?” I was so tired and desperate for a break.
“To what end? An early grave?”
It had been an incredibly taxing five years.
I had a second back surgery, finished my undergraduate degree, learned how to build websites, launched three of them, I had been gigging almost nonstop, built upon my professional career, had a child and who had basically spent his first two years “on top of head,” began and was about to finish my master’s degree, bought a house, was struggling with migraines, and, and, and, and…
Bottom line I was tired and didn’t know why I was putting myself through everything. Was I trying to further my career? Why? Was I trying to build a better life for myself and my son? What did that look like? Would even I survive to see it?
Here’s a screen cap of the post…
Among the comments expressing compassion and encouragement there was on in particular that looking back I find to be quite impactful.
“Our power comes within our ability to make choices”
And there it was. Wise words indeed.
It took another year but in August 2018 I began making a series of choices that would forever change my life, and the lives of many around me.
I asked for a divorce.
It was not a decision taken lightly. It was one that had been explored for nearly the entirety of that marriage, one I had tried to avoid answering until I no longer could.
The ensuing months found me in the midst of an unfortunate, stressful, and what I continue to believe could have been an avoidable process to ensure my son had equal access to both his parents and that his life would be disrupted as little as possible. I feel like I achieved close to everything I hoped.
As I’ve joyfully written before, the end of that story was quite different than anticipated. Rather than being a divorced single dad living in an apartment or with his parents, I found myself married to my best friend and living back in the old neighborhood.
Everything has changed. My clothes, my car, my address, even my name and signature are different (enhanced!).
And there my friends, is the answer to the question about why I was doing everything I was doing for so many years.
I didn’t know it then but everything I was doing then and everything I was doing before, was leading me to that “better life” that seemed so nebulous and unattainable. I was recreating my life…from the ground up.
In talking to my wife and best friend about Our Life we always come back to the fact that we didn’t “fall in love.” We didn’t meet and realize we wanted to be together.
We were living our lives parallel, working towards goals, pushing through obstacles, until those straight lines started to merge. We didn’t realize it then but This Right Here, Us, was the only way this story was going to end.
And now there’s a new question…
All the battles seem to have ended…or at least ceasefires have been achieved. Everyone has found a bit of a rhythm. We’ve settled into Our home. There are no more boxes left unpacked, no fires left to extinguish. The old house sold last week. We paid off a mountain of debt. We got our transportation needs worked out. Our budget is set. My guitars are restrung and tuned. We have our routine.
So now what? Enjoy the hell out of life, that’s what!
At some point we must lay down our arms. At some point we have to stop living for the struggle. At some point not only do we get to let out a sign of relief but we simply must allow ourselves to breathe and relax and enjoy what we’ve worked to achieve. Smell those flowers and all that jazz.
That’s where I find myself. For the first time in the last 10 years I’m not looking for the next big challenge. I’m not desperately seeking out a great struggle to overcome because at least for now, I’ve achieved everything I’ve set out to accomplish.
For the first time I can look around my home, I can look at my life and the people in it and feel comfortable, content, and happy. I’ve never known that feeling.
Life isn’t perfect. I won’t sit here and say that my best friend and I don’t get aggravated with one another. I can’t say that building a modern blended family is not without challenges but I’m not looking to fill gaping holes in my soul with massive projects and to-do lists.
Right now I want to enjoy every moment with my family. Right now I want to enjoy baseball season! I want to play guitar for the sheer joy of it. I want to binge watch HGTV, cook, and just live the life I’ve been trying to build because without even realizing it, I was building This Life…and it’s incredible.
It won’t always be. There will always be challenges and
problems but I know that my best friend is at my side…not behind me, not
leading the way, but shoulder-to-shoulder and together we can do anything. We
have done so much and we’ll do so much more.
But right now? I just want to breathe all this in. Right now I want to rest up because life will throw new challenges at me and at Us…but right now? Right now I’m going to enjoy every second because This Right Here is glorious.
They were questions from a script, boxes to check as a
matter of procedure, and asked with about as much zeal as an automated
attendant alerting me that my phone call may be recorded for quality assurance.
The judge asked why I wanted to change my name.
I told him I had recently married.
He asked me if it was in the best interests of the community. I said yes it was.
He asked if I was a sex offender. Um, that would be a hard “NO.”
He asked if I was attempting to escape debt. No…but wait, is that a thing?!
He asked if I was otherwise attempting to hide my identity for any other nefarious purpose. Negative. And with that and a court order signed with more than a dash of elegant bravado, I had a newly changed (I prefer “enhanced”) last name…with a hyphen and everything.
Neither my wife or I can recall asking or being asked “the big question.”
Being that over 10 years of our conversations, from the most mundane to the most intimate, took place via text and messenger we were able to review every exchange. We relived every thumbs up and emoji, every tear of laughter and pain, every virtual high five and warm embrace, every frustration, success, sniffle, smile, grumble, and giggle.
No such question was ever asked.
There was however a gradual shift in tone as this conversation, as this life, unfolded.
As we read through our messages spanning nearly as many years as this technology has existed, we came to understand that these were words not spoken between friends who at some point “fell in love.”
Somewhere along the way we simply came to understand what I
am now certain has always been the case: I am hers. She is mine. We are Us.
There was no planning, no “ifs” and very few mentions of “when.”
There was no need to propose the idea of spending our lives
together. Such an obvious concept required as much acknowledgement or debate as
gravity or our need for oxygen.
No dowry was requested.
No honeymoon plans were made.
Dresses and tuxedos? Not even in an incognito browser tab.
No consideration was ever given to seating arrangements or
even guests for that matter.
Instead, as things progressed, our discussions involved practical matters like
zip codes and health insurance, meal planning and schedules.
Of course, one of the biggest changes was kissing. (Man, why didn’t we think of
that in high school?!)
The reality is we were already sharing our lives, side by side, intimately bound. We always had been and as such we found little in the way of either of us making the decision to marry. It was just a given. Everything else is just details.
And so, we got married.
Kristin Benninghoff is a name that has been locked in my mind and heart for over 25 years. Never once has Kristin ever been just “Kristin.”
“Well, well…if it isn’t Kristin Benninghoff.”
“Hey! Kristin Benninghoff! Come here for a second.”
“I love you Kristin Benninghoff.”
One name could never be enough.
Rhythmic and unique with just the right combination of soft and hard sounds, it can carry a bite or a smirk depending on the inflection…just like her.
Of German roots, Kristin is daughter of a strong, proud, witty, and decent father who loved her with an immeasurable force. A force that is rivaled only by her love for him.
His influence, his blessings and teachings, his humor, and his love comfort and guide her and by proxy do the same for Jakob, Olivia, myself, and Oliver.
She carries her dad in that name as she does with every beat
of heart and in every breath conjured by her lungs.
Like her, for whatever reason, people have always combined
my first and last name. To this day there are moments in a grocery store or pub
when I hear “Jaasson Becehhhrra.” It’s always an old schoolmate or teacher.
For the entirety of our relationship, despite a period of
time where she supposedly had a different last name, I have only known her as
Kristin Benninghoff. I have no concept of her by any other name.
I do it too. I don’t recall any time where I’ve introduced
myself simply as “Jason.”
My name is Jason Becerra.
Jason R. Becerra to be perfectly clear.
The “R” is a big deal.
Perhaps Kristin is the only other person I know who is as proud to be their father’s child.
My father is known to many people as a celebrity, a broadcaster, a writer, and singer (and more than a few other names I’ll leave out haha).
He’s a kind, decent, compassionate man who has spent a lifetime trying to help his family feel and find love, success, and joy in our own lives.
In his professional life he would work 20-hour days at 5 different places if that’s what it took. He has accomplished “success” by any metric in the broadcasting industry. He has sung to empty bars and sold-out arenas sharing the stage with legendary artists and humble anonymous musicians with equal passion. He has given voice and served as an advocate for members of our community who would otherwise have neither.
So too did he coach my pee-wee baseball team and hold court regaling my friends and I with tales of Pahokee, Florida. He bought me books, inspired me to write, bought me my first guitar, gave me my first copy of Pet Sounds, and has guided me through life one step and hug at a time. Everything I know about being a man and a father comes from my dad.
Kristin and I are who we are because of our families, because of our fathers.
So, there we were: Ms. Kristin Benninghoff and Mr. Jason R. Becerra.
It works ok I suppose.
We could leave them as is but it just felt…off.
Kristin is a Benninghoff. She is no more a Becerra than she is a Peterson, Xu, Abboud, or Alperstein.
The thought of her replacing “Benninghoff” with “Becerra”
seemed unfathomable. It seemed crude and sacrilege.
It was a non-starter for me.
Similarly, I cannot separate myself from my name. I share it name with my father, my mother, and my son. It’s who I am. It’s part of what binds me to my family and what helps illuminate each step I take into my own future.
So, then what?
For a moment she considered hyphenating but that didn’t feel
right to me either.
Why don’t we BOTH hyphenate? Afterall, John Lennon took on Yoko’s name.
Just like that, Kristin and I had another of our many “well, duh” moments.
It makes all the sense in the world.
She was not joining the Becerra family.
I was not becoming a Benninghoff.
Our whole relationship going back to the beginning has been a blending of our
lives into something new. Getting married was simply natural and obvious…like
gravity and air.
We have made the choice to bring together everything our fathers and families gave us, everything that had defined us as individuals.
We are taking everything and everyone we have in our lives and sewing them together into something new (whether they like it or not ha-ha).
We give to one another every memory and moment, every good
time and bad, every smile and scar, all the laughter and loss that we have ever
had, shared or yet to be experienced.
All these things make us who we are…and who we are is Us.
How could we NOT have the same last name?
It became such a simple and obvious choice…. like gravity and air, and Us.
And so, we changed (enhanced) our names.
There are many layers to this notion of spouses changing or hyphenating (enhancing) their names after marriage.
Some may see my decision as a statement of sorts and discuss the idea within the political or philosophical realms. There are legal and practical aspects and certainly gender roles within society could and are being debated every day but I am not going to do any of that because none of it had anything to do with why I went to Harris County Court #310.
My name is my statement and my name is Jason R. Benninghoff-Becerra.
I wish I could tell you a story about our first kiss or the
magic moment under a bowl of stars when fate made itself known to Us.
I wish I could paint a portrait of me brushing the hair
behind her ear as she first looked at me with those eyes and that smile that
change my life every time she graces me with them.
I wish I could describe the precise moment when I first
heard her say “I love you” in a way I had never heard her say it before.
I wish there was some way I could capture all those
fireworks and butterflies that come in the moments before that first kiss that
changed our lives…the kind of kiss that changes anyone’s life really.
But I don’t have those stories to tell. Ours is not one of
“new” love or of flames so passionate that their heat carried us into the sky.
Our story begins in a musty sophomore geometry classroom. We were bound together by the alphabet and its influence over Ms. Grissom’s seat assignments.
Unencumbered by the kinds of promises kids so often make though they are too young to know they can’t keep, our friendship was instead marked by our social awkwardness, our misfit friends who inhabited the land of broken toys that was our classroom, and shenanigans. (Well, the shenanigans were mostly mine.)
She was beautiful though she won’t acknowledge it. She was funny and smart with an air of cool that again, she’ll deny. Her self-image is much different than my view of her. I suppose the same is true for me.
I was shy and insecure with a sense of fashion that could generously be described as ridiculous…except for my black trench coat. I’d like to think it was the first step in wooing My Love.
Sometimes the class clown, other times desperate to melt into the faded paint on the mid-century classroom that incubated us, I was never quite comfortable in my own skin.
She had my eye even then. She doesn’t believe me but it’s true.
Somehow despite my often crippling awkwardness I summoned the courage to write her a note. Clumsily folded with a little tag that had the word “pull” and an arrow, it was my first attempt at telling her how I feel. She denies this too but it’s my story and I’m sticking to it.
Then as now, every word was a piece of my heart.
Whenever I made my clumsy attempts at humor she would look at me with a tone in her eyes that seemed to embody both a sense of dismay and approval. She tried to keep a straight face and sometimes she managed to but more often than not that smile would not be denied.
Through circumstances unique to adolescence we were pulled
apart and lost touch despite always being in the other’s orbit.
It seemed like we were always five minutes and two miles
away without even knowing it. We visited the same friends’ apartments always
just missing one another. One night in particular I left our mutual friend’s
house about 10 minutes before she arrived.
We didn’t even realize we knew the same people.
For a time we lived almost exactly across the street from
She worked at the restaurant directly across the street from
the pub I frequented. I ate at her restaurant with some regularity too.
Evidently it was always her night off.
I’m serious. You can’t make this up.
For years we circled one another, never knowing just how
close we were. So close yet so far away.
Enter Facebook and a simple friend request I received one
It was Kristin Benninghoff.
I won’t even attempt to deny that my heart skipped more than a beat when I saw
the “alert” nor the fact that I stared at the screen for I don’t know how long
waiting to see if she would send me a direct message.
When friends reconnect after time apart they often say they
“picked up where they left off.”
Kristin and I did not.
We picked up right where we were.
We slipped into one another’s life both as if we were never apart but also with all the miles, scars, tears, laughter, and experiences gained over the years we spent in orbit.
That time carved and molded us into more than just old
friends catching up.
The first time I saw Kristin in person after all those years
she spoke to me as if we had never spent so much as an hour apart in our entire
She knew me so well, our conversation so fluid and intimate
that I asked if perhaps she had reached out to my then-wife to inquire about
She had not.
She just knew.
She just knew.
Since then, every step we’ve taken has been taken together.
We became inseparable despite seldom having the opportunity
to even grab coffee.
We became each other’s biggest fans, boldest champions, most
caring confidantes, and loving supporters.
The good, the bad, the awkward, the triumphant, the failure,
the loss, the joy, this life, the universe, and everything have been
We have spent these years supporting one another through
heartache and the stress of building the lives we always envisioned but seemed
unfathomable to that point.
We’ve celebrated too.
She cheered me as I performed on stages large and small
I cheered every milestone achieved as she, Jakob, and Olivia
moved through life.
She embraced the birth of my son with a passion and tender
love that continues to humble my soul.
And together, we walked across the stage, her in Houston and
I in New Hampshire, to receive our Master’s degrees. We spent the day texting
back and forth as we sat waiting for our names to be called.
She is the first person I want to tell about anything that
happens throughout my day.
Someone cuts me off on the road? Call Kristin.
Oliver said “SEGA!!!” I must call Kristin.
Exactly how does so much laundry appear in the hamper? Kristin will know. I’m struggling to maintain a grip on my life. Kristin can help. Kristin will understand.
Whether inconsequential or monumental, Kristin is my first
instinct…and always has been.
Yet, we were never single at the same time. Being together as we are now was never even on the radar.
Perhaps a fleeting curiosity or the proverbial “what if”
would cross our individual minds but it was never outwardly acknowledged. We never
spoke of such things.
What could have come of such talk or consideration?
What would the point have been?
We thought of it in the same way a child may think of what it would be like to fly but without the naivety that youth provides to allow them to believe they have wings to spread.
We were in long term relationships and we had our friendship. What more could we ask?
But things change.
Several months ago I made the very difficult decision to end my marriage after 14 years. That marriage gave birth to my darling son and taught me more than I can describe about sacrifice and compromise, about love, and about what it means to fill the measure of my creation.
It was not a decision taken lightly. There was no singular moment or action that led me to that decision but it was one that I came to believe was the only and best choice to make for the family. It was an inevitable and in many ways unfortunate choice to make but no less essential for the lives of everyone involved. As I made my way through the maze of divorce settlements and trying to reconcile my beliefs about family and individual fulfillment, I came to understand what life would look like. Maybe I’d have an apartment somewhere or maybe I’d spend time with my parents planning the next chapter of my life as a divorced father.
But then, something happened on the way to the rest of my life.
I’ll resist the temptation to frame the way Kristin and I became Us within the context of destiny though the manner in which we went from “us” to “Us” begs for such otherworldly poetry.
What I do know is that we were collecting all the photographs and memories, joyful mornings and mournful nights, wisdom and knowledge, that have all led us to this moment…to This Right Here.
They say timing is everything and I suppose it is.
We had in fact never been single at the same time.
We had in fact never spoken of any sort of life together
beyond what we had always enjoyed.
And then we did.
And when you realize you want to spend the rest of your life
together with somebody you want the rest of your life to start as soon as
And so it has.
We turned Our new life over and in doing so we found Our
This is why I cannot tell you a story of a singular moment
when Kristin and I became what we are today.
Our story is one of Choice.
Our story is about the choices we’ve made as both
individuals and as Us.
Some of the choices we made while apart, unfortunate though some may have been,
were essential in shaping us into the individuals that have become Us.
So too are the choices we made to craft the lives we wanted
to live, lives we thought impossible until we had the audacity to believe in
ourselves and in Us.
We made choices to earn degrees and to further our careers.
We made choices about family and faith and all the while
challenging and inspiring one another as we took those steps together in hopes
of building our lives. We didn’t realize it but we weren’t just building our
We were building Our Life.
So too have those choices involved others.
She chose Oliver. Oliver chose her.
Olivia chose me. I chose Olivia.
Olivia chose Oliver. Oliver chose Olivia.
And while Jakob is already building his own life, growing
into a man anyone can be both proud and humbled to know, he too made a choice.
He chose to open his mind and heart to Kristin and I and to stand with Us, his own beloved at his side when Kristin and I make the most natural and obvious choice of all: to be married.
We all chose to come together and build something new.
Our story is not defined by any one moment.
Our Life was not born in a whirlwind. There is no story of falling in love, of courtship, or dropping to one knee.
Rather, Our Life is defined by moments sewn so tightly together that I struggle to find the seams that join the separate pieces.
I’ve no concept of a life without her…not one that I would
ever want to live.
God Only Knows what I’d be without her.
The fact that we are now We is a testament to, and confirmation of, what I have always known to be true but was too afraid to allow myself the chance to consider as ever being possible.
Kristin, It Had To Be You. It could not have been anyone else and I’m so glad it’s you.
Kristin you are my best friend. We Can Do Anything. We have. We will.
Anyone who knows me understands how much baseball means to me. Anyone who knows me understands what this season continues to signify to me. I shared some of those thoughts a while back.
I struggled with whether or not to join the thousands of people lining up the night before in order to have a chance at getting one of these earlier this season when they announced a giveaway promotion.
After years of rooting for my beloved team and going through this incredible season it was so very tempting but I decided to avoid the crowds and see if I couldn’t find one later on down the road. Fortunately enough one was gifted to me just the other day! I’m not sure what looks better the incredibly well-crafted ringing or the dashing center fielder Jake Marisnick. (Yeah, I said it. haha)
I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to truly describe what this ring really means to me but I’ll try.
I’m not a memorabilia guy. My “collectibles” at this point in my life consist largely of Lincoln Logs, analgesic cream, and orphaned sippy cup lids.
Some guys are really into sports memorabilia. They get the jerseys and signatures and all that. They may see a ring like this as something to hold on to for a while and then sell or trade it down the line.
To others it is a neat souvenir. They’ll put it on their office desk, show it off for a day, and promptly forget it’s even there.
For me it’s something much more. Hell, for me, it doesn’t even belong solely to me.
With this ring I share a lifetime of stories and coaching and anecdotes and “who was better” discussions with my father. My father, incidentally, was the proud and popular Spanish voice of the Houston Astros throughout the 80s and into the early 90s. I can’t count how many times I sat in the booth with him watching Jose Cruz, Ken Caminiti, Craig Biggio, and the rest.
My dad coached my peewee team and no matter how many times I struck out or just begged for a walk because I knew getting a hit was off the table he always encouraged me.
With this ring I share with my father the difficult months after Harvey when the Astros were our only escape from a reality we are still struggling to reconcile ourselves with and develop a path forward within.
This ring is his as much as it is mine.
With this ring I share a brotherhood with one of the most influential people in my life. Our shared love of music and baseball formed the basis of the kind of friendship that only a blessed few ever receive. I will never fully square the debt I owe him for his love and for teaching me so much about songwriting, for putting his arm around me as I slumped in a corner suffering the kind of heartache that can only be felt at such a young age, and for inspiring me to just be a better me.
During the 2017 season he experienced a profound loss. His entire family did. The Astros provided him, and all of us, with something to hold on to. When we didn’t want to talk about it, (or couldn’t) we could pick apart AJ Hinch’s lineup card. We could go back and forth on whether or not Gattis was awesome. Incidentally, judging by the last month or so, David was right and I was so very wrong. He usually is and I usually am.
This ring is his as much as it is mine.
With this ring I share a renewed connection and love for another friend I’d long since lost touch with. Where did Chris and I see one another for the first time in a decade? We saw each other at Minute Maid Park.
Since that afternoon we’ve chatted almost daily. It’s been fascinating to see how much we’ve changed and yet somehow managed to remain those angsty teenagers relentlessly clinging to…well…whatever it is we’re were clinging to back then. Haha
I’m astounded at how radically some of our opinions have changed over the years.
He likes Led Zeppelin now!
I love the Smiths now!
We both finally came to our senses.
We’ve both been through our fair share of life in our years apart and I think we would have been better off together through it all but we’re together now and that’s enough.
He, David, and I have a shared text message thread and it is never lower than the third spot on my phone for as often as we talk throughout the day. As if we are still sitting on Dave’s sofa or on a park bench, the three of us are goofing around, telling stories, ranking songs, and talking Astros baseball.
This ring is his as much as it is mine.
With this ring I share a revived connection with a girl who I’ve known since those days on the peewee field flailing about just trying to at least look like I might make contact with the ball. Jennifer and I had not spoken in a number of years due to reasons and circumstances that just don’t seem to matter anymore.
I’m grateful to once again be back in touch, sharing music, trading bits of trivia, and as much as anything, rooting for our boys on the field. Throughout that incredible run up to the Series, every cheer or nervous “oh man I can’t take this anymore” we shared, so too did it seem like we slowly began to reaffirm a bond I’d long thought broken and discarded. I’ve missed her friendship more than I’d allowed myself to admit to anyone including myself.
This ring is hers as much as it is mine.
With this ring I share the the joy of newfound passion with my buddy Jon. Jon was hardly a sports fan. Our relationship was rooted mostly in music, cooking, and trying to one-up the other in that timeless game of “What’s grosser…” and “What would you rather do?” As the season went on and he saw my enthusiasm and that of the entire city he found himself wondering what all of the hubbub was about. All of the sudden I began getting text messages.
“What’s the infield fly rule?”
“Wait, why is that guy out? The ball went foul.”
“Oh man! Did you see that catch!?”
One of the most intelligent and creative people I know, I’ve learned so much and been challenged to examine issues from different perspectives. Now was my turn to help him learn something new, to expose him to something I knew a little bit about.
He’s a very tech-savvy and analytical guy so of course he has now digested the entirety of 200 years of baseball statistics. He’s not just watching Astros games. He’s watching random games from the national league, keeping track of farm clubs, and trolling other teams’ fans in their online discussion forums. Jon is now a baseball fan…a big one. This ring is as much his as it is mine….though he needs to stop calling them “points.” It’s baseball. They’re called “RUNS” damn it.
With this ring I share a tender but also tumultuous season with my son Oliver.
We were hit hard by Harvey and I can’t fathom a more patient and courageous child. As I endeavored to rescue my parents, get them settled into our home, battle back the waters that threatened to flood our home running around like a madman trying to learn how to operate a generator, find gasoline, keep the milk cold, and just get through the next hour or two he watched and waited for any second we could find to grab a hug, for me to cradle him, or take him on a piggy-back ride while lugging bags of laundry and extension cords around the house. He was a such a champ.
We had spent the whole season cuddled up watching every single game. He chanted “Altuuuuuveeee” every time Jose came to bat and we cheered every time that dreamboat Marisnick seemed to defy gravity catching a line drive in center.
This boy has stood by my side every day of his life and we are bound for life. I could not be more proud of anyone. Seeing him handle the upheaval, the loss of electricity, the heat and humidity, the complete disruption to his routine was humbling. Once we got the power back and TV back on we went back to our routine with my dad watching every game right on through that magical World Series win.
This ring is definitely as much his as it is mine.