About players

I was sitting in a local establishment with yet another date of dates when he said,”Hey, Dave…” obviously not talking to me so I continued to munch down on my patty melt; silly, yes, and also the truth.  “Dave” approached us and my date began a conversation with him as I enjoyed my sandwich.  My date was polite and introduced me and I was polite back and shook “Dave’s” hand.  They talked some more with promises of connecting soon and the other niceties that go along with that.  Then “Dave” shook my hand again and I expressed it was nice to meet him a final time.  “Dave” left us and my date proceeded to tell me about “Dave.”  He wanted me to know “Dave” is a “real player”… you know, like the kind in the community… Ah, yes, players, I thought… 

 remember a simpler life before my son Sam died unexpectedly from a drug overdose of poison known as synthetic 25i-NBOMe when I too, might have been interested in who a player of the community might be.  Today, two and a half years after my son’s death, I am the most essential player in my life, a player of a painful life.  Every day I play with the idea of getting out of bed when everything in my body denies me that possibility.  I struggle to make it somewhere that I feel I really don’t need to be but this life calls us to do something and that is my something for the time.  I play at caring about others talk about their family as I recall mine has been broken into shreds since Sam died.  I become angry; first, at myself, then at Sam.  Sam was a kid though.  One of three kids that took the same drug they thought was LSD but Sam didn’t wake up the next morning.  Instead, he was found dead.  My life as I knew it was over.  My life I now do not know.

Then I thought about the players my date was referring to.  I recalled first living in Grand Rapids, Michigan working in “the big ice cube building downtown” as Sam called it when he was only 5.  There I had met player upon player in the law firm I worked for as a business consultant.  An insightful work experience was with one of those so-called players.  Dave Van Andel, son of one of the Amway founders, who had created a spin off that I was involved in helping to succeed.  He headed the Van Andel Institution at the time and was in ownership of the Grand Rapids hockey team among other interests.  The Van Andel’s owned an island… 

On the 9-11, I had been in Dave Van Andel’s executive conference room at the Amway Corporate office that morning as the first of what was happening at the twin towers was reported.  It was being shown on the conference room t.v. as the small executive group in the meeting looked on.  I left that meeting, picked up my babies and went directly to my home.  I was with my babies, Sam and Nick, the rest of the day.

Then I think about an innocent group of boys practicing basketball at the Sugar Grove Elementary gym while on my phone I get a call from the Governor’s Chief of Staff.  The purpose of the call is to verify numbers for an executive report; numbers which as a project consultant I know by heart and so that along with the cordial demeanor of the Governor’s staff makes the call go seemingly quickly and very well.  I ended the call and looked through the small glass square of the gym door.  I saw the young boys on the court and my eyes zeroed in on the one that I brought into this world and I smiled. I wish I could have seen him all of the practice I thought then.  I know now…  #muchlovetosam