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Emotional Triggers, Baseball & Festus Hagen

Family Reunion '08 pic 003We’re in the heart baseball season and sadly I cannot watch a single pitch.

You see, my Daddy, Stephen. Sr. passed a month ago Tuesday and baseball was one of the things my Daddy and I could easily talk about. It’s not that we weren’t close but we were just two extremely terse men of different times (He was born in 1932 and I was born in 1979 and baseball was one of the things that we both loved to watch.)

The game of baseball now serves as an emotional trigger for me–a reminder that my Daddy isn’t here anymore and when I tried to watch a game a few Saturday’s ago I simply couldn’t watch because it reminded me too much of him. Too be blunt it just f***king hurt. You see sooner or later I’m going to have to force myself to watch an inning or three just to make myself take in every pitch, ball or strike, just to force myself to grieve properly. It must be done.

I feel the same way about westerns now, too. When I’m at home in Fairfax I’m weary of channel 538 on Direct TV simply because it was a part of my Daddy’s favorite daily ritual. This too puts me in a bad place because a television and film genre, westerns are one of my favorites too but at the moment the good folks of North Fork, New Mexico and Dodge City, Kansas will have to wait.

Baseball and westerns have been added to the pile of emotional triggers that I acquired in November when my Mama passed (The sight of and taste of sweet potato pies will be missed). [i]  Eventually I’ll begin to work on cutting that pile of triggers down. I suppose that I’m somewhat of a mess right now because of this but I think I need to be a mess right now. Moneypenny’s sweet a** told me a few weeks ago that I have to let myself grieve properly and I’m honestly in the infancy of doing so. Dealing with all of the emotional triggers will be part of the steps of handling things but I’m not ready… yet.

Seeing simple things like sweet potato pies in the bakery at Piggly Wiggly or flipping past the Rifleman on a Saturday morning will be necessary in handling this. The old me would’ve held it all in but these things are all symbols of good times that I shouldn’t run away from but embrace. They hurt now and I’m not one hundred percent upstairs but sooner or later I’ll move forward smiling with those memories of westerns, sweet potato pie, and baseball in tow.

One day I’ll want to watch Gunsmoke or the Outlaw Josey Wales again. One day I’ll have a slice of pie. Then one day I’ll watch the World Series and enjoy what I see. I’ll enjoy all of these things again one day.

It’ll just take time.

Vaya con Dios.


[i] F**K CANCER!

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9 responses to “Emotional Triggers, Baseball & Festus Hagen

  1. I am so sorry for your losses. I’ll be praying for you. *hugs*

  2. Glad to you see you back bloggin’ Wu.
    Emotional triggers are the worst. It will get easier in due season.
    As you know my Pops is heavy into the westerns also, so until you can watch them again, I’ll absorb an extra helping of Gunsmoke and Bonanza for you…lol
    One day you’ll look back, smile and enjoy the things that remind you the most of your loved ones. Unfortunately, you gotta go through all the shitty stuff first, to come out smelling sweet on the other side.

    Hang in, buddy.

    • As much as I’ve joked about the constant watching of the antics of the denizens of Dodge City, KS I would’ve never guessed that it would come to mean something.

      “Unfortunately, you gotta go through all the shitty stuff first, to come out smelling sweet on the other side.) <—- Hence fecal matter making for the best fertilizer.

  3. The Only Real Outcast

    My dad is into Westerns too…but I’m not crazy about 538 with those singing cowboys. Give me Marshal Dillon or the Cartwrights and I’m straight. Soon your triggers will become areas of comfort…until then it’s okay to grieve and allow yourself to heal.

    • Dale (one of my sisters) and I ABHOR Gene Autry and the other singing cowboys that Daddy loved. Ironically she’s named after Roy Rogers’ wife Dale Evans. Those singing cowboys movies were the worst. I even saw one with Sammy Davis, Jr.

  4. Great post. I can definitely empathize with what you’re feeling. Hang in there Wu.

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