Memory Lane: T-Bone and Basketball

Today was the third outing by Sam’s Watch in the past week to hand-deliver invites for National Drug Facts Week to local Indiana schools.  Our candy canes filled with Hershey treats that go with the invite information, hopefully, entice recipients to sign up before the holidays.  A Sam’s Watch Director and I had the first outing last Friday, the same director and a volunteer had the second outing this Tuesday and today, Thursday, I completed the third outing solo.  I don’t know if it was the fact that I was by myself that made the school visits so different or the actual schools themselves that I went to.  It was probably both but I put more emphasis on the latter.  Today’s outing was to the communities just North of Indianapolis and North side Indianapolis city schools.  Every high school I went to I was taken back in time, sometimes just within the past year like Carmel High School which Sam played basketball at several times the past year for school ball and then AAU basketball games.  In fact, it was the last place he played basketball, on the last day he was alive.  Other schools took me back to Sam and basketball games over many, many years.  Going to North Central High School took me the furthest back down memory lane.  My first time at North Central, Sam was in 4th grade and playing in an AAU tournament with then ISSA Elite.  In between games, we had an appointment to meet and visit with a puppy that we ended up adopting.  The boys had found the 6-month old male yellow lab mix online at petfinder.com.  He was a rescue pup having been picked up by the dog catcher.  He seemingly met all of the boys' requirements (and ours) from what we read online so that day was the first time we set eyes on T-Bone.  It was love at first sight for all of us; especially Sam and Nick who had been longing for a dog for more than a year.   As I pulled into North Central today, I thought about that day many years ago and the range of enjoyment we all experienced throughout it; Sam was most joyful as the one whose first choice was a yellow lab and the boys had picked out the name T-Bone for a male and this 6-month old puppy already had that name when we found him on petfinder.com.  After the visit with T-Bone and making arrangements to pick him up in the coming days, we traveled back to North Central for more basketball.  Sammy played his heart out on the court.  I remember in the last game of the day and in the final minute, too, with a fast break down the court, Sam on defense running quickly the length of the court, stopped the two-point shot.  He was so happy; he was just being himself.  I miss him so.  Much love to Sam…