I’ve built a few relationships with the staff at BP. One cashier is an aspiring rapper, currently working on his second mixtape. I stood outside the gas station with the twenty-three-year-old during the wee hours of Monday morning, shared a few concepts, spat a few bars. The man has talent.
Another cashier, I won’t mention any names, is the mother of “two daughters and a spoiled, thirteen-year-old son.”
I asked her if he plays any sports. He does. Baseball and football. Quarterback. That last tidbit about him stuck out like Brittney Griner standing in a room full of hobbits. I told her that if there was anything I could do to help, to let me know.
“Sure,” she said, grimacing, “but I hate football.”
“What? You don’t like football?” I responded in disbelief. I immediately realized how ignorant that sounded.
“Yeah, everybody loves football, right?” she questioned, then answering her own, “Not me, because it caused the death of his father.”
She thought that I had already known. I did not; I would have avoided bringing up something so deep, so tragic; her heartbreak.
In 2008, the man who fathered two of her children won a Super Bowl bet, however, the sore loser didn’t want to pay and what escalated afterwards between two grown-ups led to a cruel and unnecessary murder.
There I was, dumbfounded, trying to contain my tears. I’ve been fortunate to not lose a loved one and it was difficult to relate to that type of pain. I was too young at my grandfather’s funeral. I, sympathetic, apologized for having her recall the traumatic experience—she smirked saying “it’s okay, I’m not over it yet and I may never get over it.”
No she won’t. How could she forget? She sees “him” every single day.
She doesn’t go to watch any of her son’s games and whenever she asks him about how he feels, he remains quiet.
Five years has passed since the incident but here she stood, unshaken, sharing with me how God is always good, and that everything happens for a reason.
I admire this woman’s courage. I thanked her for sharing a piece of her testimony with me. Do you believe in divine appointments? I do. There’s a reason why God grouped football, her and I tonight, and it has definitely stretched the screen of how I view the sport. Perfect timing too, I needed a slap of reality before I graduate next week.
Readers, of the millions of requests that I have, I simply ask if you could lift up a prayer for her. She informed me that her testimony would take an entire day to write out, and says she’ll have her life story published someday. Pray for her three children as well; God’s purpose for her family is great. Also, readers, please pray for me. I ask for an increase of humility and that I would never shove a plate of football in someone’s face. Football teaches about life values and teamwork–but gambling on the game should never cause the loss of a loved one.
11/2/17 thanks tashunda.