By Sheryl McAlister
Nearly seven years ago to the day, I posted my first blog piece. And apparently my second, not realizing the value of spreading things out. I was on a rant that day about LGBTQ kids and their rights. The second rant was about a former boss who had been called a pariah for reportedly causing near global economic collapse in 2008.
Clearly, my interests are not singularly focused.
Anyway, I started this blog a year after my Dad died. It helped me process my grief. The writing, ranting or whatever you want to call it was a therapy of sorts. Which is why it surprises me that in the most challenging year of our collective lives, I stopped writing somewhere in the summer of 2020.
I wonder if I was holding my breath, afraid to exhale.
My last post was an RIP for RBG. (Google her if you don’t know who I’m talking about.)
My last piece was an earnest plea for the powers that be to allow public high school football – with or without fans – in spite of the dire predictions about this unknown illness running rampant across the world.
The piece made the rounds and generated a great deal of emotional response – both positive and negative – about the importance of a game in the midst of so many more important things. So many people thought I was a complete idiot for thinking football mattered. I could care less what those people thought. I also wasn’t wrong.
I am grateful to the folks who found a way for kids to play high school sports in 2020. No one will ever know for sure how many lives were saved because kids had a reason to participate. A place to be. A need that was filled.
I’m still sorry for the seniors who lost their 2020 spring season and for the college kids who didn’t get a shot at a national championship. The kids who played the final games of their lives and didn’t know it was over. Until it was.
I am grateful for many things this past year:
My mom survived Covid. We are still unclear how she got it. She had stepped on a 10-penny nail. The injury was so severe she was prescribed massive antibiotics, which I am convinced kept her out of the hospital with Covid pneumonia. Or worse.
The courage of health care workers. Enough said.
The resilience of some coaches, teachers and guidance counselors, who did whatever it took to help students learn. To those who were concerned for their students’ well being as well as academic achievements, we owe a debt of gratitude. To those who fell short, well, you know who you are.
The patience of my friends who are black, for answering my endless questions without rolling their eyes at their white friend who will never understand what it means to be them.
The company we kept and how we have all weathered 2020 with humor, as much optimism as we could muster, and a great deal of food, alcohol and Netflix.
I turned 60 in the Fall of 2020. And since international travel was a bust, so were my grand plans. Instead, I drove a race car 150 miles an hour and took up temporary residence in a tree house.
I’m not sure what this blog piece is about really, except that what started as a folly when I was in my early 50s has become something that I depend on to bring my blood pressure down, to rant and rave about some topics probably nobody else cares about, and maybe connect with a reader or two if I’m lucky.
So far, I’m proud of my 50s musings about sports, grief, cancer, MS, injustice, and the good things folks do for other people’s children. And I think we can effectively retire the phrase “these unprecedented times.” Because we have certainly seen it all.
Stay tuned for the 60s. The Old Broad is just getting started.
©Copyright Sheryl McAlister 2021.
Other People’s Children; More than a Game; Cancer Cars; Start Spreading the News; Come Hell or High Water; The Aftermath; An Old Boat, a New Love; Isolation and Grief; NFL Got This One Right; A Monster is Dead; Friday Night Lights; Douglas; The Girls on the Hill; Too Much, Too Fast