As I was sitting on the final leg of my journey back to Georgia and in-between trying to sleep a bit and snacking I tried to reflect on my quick trip back to California.
With the Giants in the World Series, it felt like a no brainer for me to jump on a plane and make it to one of the games in San Francisco. Matt and I had a love for the Giants that started way before we met. One of the first things we discovered while we were getting to know one another through the hundreds of emails, phone calls and web chats, was that Will Clark was our favourite pastime player. We spent many days watching the Giants play during random hours back in Australia. We took pictures in our Giants gear down by the Sydney Opera House after they won the 2010 World Series and Matt famously wore his “Dodgers Suck” shirt in another photo opt by the Opera House. Our mutual love of the Giants and respect for the game was just another bonding moment Matt I would enjoy taking part in.
In 2012, as much as we would have quickly jumped on a plane with Kaden to fly back for the series, we couldn’t. I was pregnant with Scarlett and actually gave birth to her during game one of the NLCS. Being die-hard fans, we of course had the game on while I was delivering Scarlett. If my memory serves me correctly, she may have been born during the first pitch of the game. Giants were a part of our life. I am sure our Aussie friends can testify to numerous conversations about our love and I am sure some thought we were crazy but hey, it was way better than watching cricket.
2014 obviously has been a difficult year, one with so many major adjustments and no time for spontaneity, I knew this was my chance to take the bull by the horns and tick off a bucket list item Matt and I verbally created. We knew that when the Giants made it back to the big show we would drop what we were doing and go, no matter where we were living. So that’s exactly what I did, I grabbed a last-minute plane ticket and traveled back home to California. Thursday evening I bought my World Series ticket and Friday early afternoon I ventured up to San Francisco to enjoy the city Matt adored and the city that created another ever lasting bond between Matt and I.
I will say this, what I thought was a good idea, traveling up to San Francisco early to walk around and enjoy being stress free about traffic, was harder than I imagined. Every little thing I saw and felt in the city broke my heart. A place we loved together, a place he took pride in really introducing me to, a place where he proposed to me, became a place filled with painful memories. Now don’t get me wrong, the memories we had together in the city are some of the best memories and I will cherish them always, but the pain of knowing that San Francisco was our own special spot together created waves of tears and sadness. I knew then and there that my ability to mentally and emotionally entwine myself in the city went out the door. No longer was I excited to travel into the Cow Hollow area and there was no way I would even come close to driving by The Palace of Fine Arts. I realised I wasn’t ready mentally and physically to immerse myself in city life without Matt.
I knew after driving around aimlessly to find lunch, it would be best to go to the parking lot at AT&T park and hangout there, grab some new Giants gear for myself and the kids and go into the stadium early to catch all the pageantry that ensued prior to the first pitch. Sitting in my seat, I had moments where I would speak to Matt (not out loud of course) and tell him it wasn’t the same without him physically here with me. But I knew the emotional roller coaster was part of the process. I accepted the difficulty of ticking off this bucket list item and embraced it. Despite the Giants losing that night, I still smiled and reflected on the slow walk out of the park that I just ticked off a bucket list item. The opportunity to take part in a magical moment regardless of the unwanted outcome leaves me feeling beyond grateful. I am beyond appreciative of my family in Georgia taking care of my kids, allowing me to be spontaneous like Matt was. I am beyond thankful for my friends and family in California who housed me, picked me up and supported me through yet another difficult but memorable moment in my life. So thank you to everyone 🙂
Lastly, not only did I get to see the Giants play in the World Series, I also got the chance to support my nephew, Givanni, during his Baptism. I was able to keep my trip back home a secret from my older brother and his wife and surprise them before the event. How fortune am I? Life is about taking chances and being spontaneous-something I am still learning. Matt took pride in random, last-minute trips or adventures, a part of his personality I admired the most because I was always a planner and to an extent liked structure. He taught me how to let go a bit more and breath and enjoy life as it comes. It’s not always easy for me and I am a work in progress, but I vowed to myself after Matt passed away that I would take the qualities that I admired in him and try to implement them more into my life. It is yet another way I can honour him and his spirit.
I will continue to tick off bucket list items as the years progress. In fact every year in March I hope to go on an adventure and explore the world. Matt and I would have traveled our life away, it was our dream. So, to pay homage to our dream, I will continue to live, I will continue to travel and explore, not only learning more about this world we live in, but more about myself and what I am capable of achieving.
I know Matt will be with me every step of the way.