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Tennis haunts me…..

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I know, strange title.

Here’s the deal… I love to watch tennis. Love it. I find it exciting and I literally will be biting my nails while watching because of how nervous I get wondering who is going to miss that ball. I love when they hit it so hard they grunt, or scream, because it’s so funny and I can’t help but think “how embarrassing!!!” when they’re they only ones doing it in a match. Hello Venus Williams. I love the speed, the coordination, I even love the outfits. My arms twitch when I anticipate a ball being slammed in the opposite direction. I whisper a yell of “yessss!” when it goes the way I was hoping. When someone has a near miss I groan with the crowd. I love to watch tennis.

What I don’t love is what it reminds me of. While watching it this morning on our all tennis all the time channel, I was haunted with memories. I’m reminded that my dad loved tennis more than my mom. That he always thought he was good enough to be a pro so he spent his time nurturing that instead of his family and in the end he lost both. I’m reminded of the summer when I was 9 and my sister was 7 when we spent a month with him and he took us to a tennis club where he said he was a trainer (because he said he was that good). I remember him leaving us at an outdoor olympic size swimming pool while he went to play tennis. I remember thinking that at 9 years old I was a good enough swimmer to dive into the deep end, swim 12 feet to the bottom, and make it back again without needing to come up for air. I remember my chest burning with the need for air and how I thought I was at the top and taking in a HUGE breath of air….only to find the air was still water and I nearly drowned. To this day I don’t know how I made it up and out of that pool. Logically I shouldn’t have. Thank you Jesus. What I do know is I went gagging and spitting to find my dad, and he was playing tennis with a blonde woman.

Tennis haunts me.

But dang it, I still watch it.


8 responses »

  1. thank GOD that when Daddy’s aren’t paying attention to their kids…HE still is!! So glad!! Maybe tennis is a continual reminder of that to you? You are so loved!

  2. Amen Kelly!

    I should have included the other thing tennis reminds me of…. it reminds me that I AM like my dad in some ways and I hate that.

  3. Don’t hate tennis because of your dad…it’s still just a game! Just because he couldn’t find balance in his life — and his focus was obviously in the wrong direction…doesn’t mean you are going the same direction if you enjoy watching it, or playing it! ;o) But I can certainly see how some very important/poignant memories are now attached to it!! Wow!
    Thanks for sharing!
    Love you!

    • I don’t hate it…. I enjoy it a lot actually. I just hate that certain memories and feelings and thoughts are so heavily tied to it.

      I couldn’t play tennis to save my life. I hit the ball too hard….which is why baseball was my game! LOL!

  4. You know, I think everyone has their own ‘tennis’….

    I have a memory that’s inadvertently tied to something else just because of that memory. It’s like songs that spark your memory.

    I’m personally impressed that you still manage to watch and enjoy tennis!! I’m not quite there yet with my own ‘tennis’ memory.

    Much love friend!

  5. Wow. What a story. My heart breaks for you girl. Stirs up a lot of feelings. Wish I had words of wisdom but all I can say is I too had a messy upbringing that I still have a few lingering issues from. So my heart hurts for you sweet lady. Don’t even know what to say.

    The only small thing I can offer is this, though my dad caused me incredible pain, at some point in the last decade I’ve had the chance to forgive him, I started to try to see the world from his point of view. I saw his brokenness. I saw his flaws. And yet I can look at him and say he’s still a human being, he’s still my dad, he does love me, and he did the best he knew how (though I know there’s a sliding scale of sorts in that department, which, by the grace of God, I know I’M thankful for in my journey as a parent). As I have been trying to do in a lot of areas of my life I have been trying to see him the way God sees him. I think me growing into adulthood, getting married, and having a child myself has all helped me to walk in his shoes a bit, and I appreciate that I have gained a slight bit of perspective in that area. Does it fix the past? No. Does it heal the wounds? No. It just makes it easier to move forward. And helps keep me from focusing so much on my past.

    Take it as you will. Maybe it helps. Maybe it doesn’t. Just know that I love my Brandylady and I would hug you if I could. You are a wonderful woman.


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