I hit the links because I love golf. Sometimes even to find solace. I love everything about golf. What I like most about the game is it's an individual sport and not a team sport. If I play bad, or the mechanics of my swing breaks down, I pay the price. Individually. No one to blame but myself. If I just can't get the putter working that day, again, on me. No one there to catch me when I fall. I love being outside in the fresh air. If I'm playing with friends or family, I love the companionship. I love meeting other golfers and comparing courses we've played. I love the challenge of playing a course that I've never played before. And what I love the most about golf, is when I'm playing well. When I'm in that groove. And you know when your in it. The swing is effortless. The ball flys straight and splits the middle of the fairway. You roll in 25 and 30 foot birdie putts (for me, most of the time to save par). Like the ball had eyes for the hole. You see every undulation of the green. Every contour.
Then there are times however, like yesterday, when I go to the course just to talk and be with my dad. Times when I'm feeling lost and need guidance. I don't go to keep score, or to practice. I just go to hit the ball around the course, because that's where I feel closest to my dad. Because I know he is going to be there, flying from the tops of the tallest trees, playing that heavenly course he always said he'd be playing. His presence is there, not only on that course, but all courses I play. Looking down on me smiling. Listening to every thought I think. Guiding me and comforting me in such a subtle way that I don't even realize his presence. But I just know he's there. I can feel him.
I take comfort in the fact that 20 years after my fathers death I can still go to a place where I know he'll be. Where I know I can talk to him and think about the great times we shared together. A place that floods every cell in my body with nothing but happy thoughts. Where his presence surrounds me.
To my nephews Patrick and Sean, my niece Kelly and my sister Nancy. I hope that you also find that place that brings you peace and nothing but good thoughts about your brother and son Michael. He is with you everyday. He hasn't left you. He is just waiting, watching over you, to be reunited with you when your ready to see him again.
Hoping you find comfort in some of these words,
Your Uncle and Brother