Tennis, anyone?   2 comments

In the summer of 2005, I was given a pair of tennis US Open tickets by a friend who could not make the night session.  I was happy to take them, because at the time I was dating a beautiful young lass from up north you see, and by up north I mean I had to leave the town I lived in to get to her place 15 minutes away.  We were only dating for about six months, but already I had the feeling that if she could sit through a whole tennis match with me, then she would be THE ONE!  By chance, some fellow villagers from my hometown would be at the same night session.  Although they would be sitting in box seats…our seats were…less boxy.

We were having a fine evening.  The match was well played.  I had my green Heineken baseball cap on…and by chance, Heineken was one of the main sponsors of the US Open at the time.  We had watched during an earlier intermission as the announcers were giving away free tickets to far flung places, courtesy of what was then Continental Airlines.  People were being shown on the Jumbotron™ with their winnings.  We were just happy to be there in our free seats.

More than halfway through the match there was another intermission, and yet another giveaway.  We weren’t really paying attention, however people around us started hollering, and I look up to see my girl and me on the Jumbotron™ and some guy running up the staircase towards us, camera crew in tow.  We both stand up, startled, and the guy starts telling us we are lucky seat winners, hands us both some oversized cardboard sign, and starts to interview us for the whole stadium to hear and see.  I was told later by a friend, who was in those more boxy seats, that she saw us on the Jumbotron™, shrugged, and more or less said “that figures.”


So it turns out that we were given two free round trip airline tickets to anywhere in the world that Continental Airlines flew.  Shocked, I tell you.   Where oh where should we go.  I felt bad for my friend who gave us those tickets, surely she regretted her decision.  Sorry.  I immediately got home and looked to see how far Continental flew.   It seems we had two choices…China, or Australia.  I know what you’re thinking, China, right?  Well, after about 15 seconds of hardy internal debate, we thought Australia would be better, for us at least.  No offense to China, it’s on our bucket list.

We both looked at our calendars for the upcoming year, we needed to use those airline tickets within 365 days.  My calendar was, how do I say, wide open.  Not working much, or at all, tends to help that way.  Her calendar was tricky, she had a job.  We agreed upon a date the following spring.  I booked the tickets, hotels, and so long as we were still dating about 7 months later, we were all set!   Three weeks of travel in Australia, here we come!

On March 19th, 2006, a few days before we were to fly to Australia, it was a Sunday I will never forget, I received a phone call.  I was sitting at home, watching TV.  The first question I was asked by the caller was whether I was having a Sunday Funday™.  That phrase needs little explanation to those that read this blog, so I will continue.  The answer, surprisingly, was no, that day was no Sunday Funday™ for whatever reason.  It was about 8pm or thereabouts.  My friend on the other line then told me that I needed to drive to the local hospital, right away.  He would not say why.

I will not go into detail, but to say Australia would have to wait, I needed to bury a very near and dear friend.  In another lifetime, we were best friends.  She was the female version of me.  It’s cliché, but true.  Together, we were trouble.  We had the best times.  She had the most friends.  You met her, and the friendship was instantaneous.  There are people you meet in life, who are so full of life, that it’s impossible for you to imagine life without them.   She was that person to me.  To everyone.  And she was gone.

Today I remember Olivia, aka OT, Liv, Livvy, with nothing but smiles.  Because that’s what we did together.  We laughed, at ourselves, at others, whatever.  I like to think she lived a full life, however short it was.  She found a new lease on life in her last years with us.  I wish I could have been a part of that too, but it would take me quite a bit longer to follow in her footsteps.  I know she is proud that I did though, and I am too.

For you, OT.




Posted March 19, 2015 by mayday76 in Uncategorized

2 responses to “Tennis, anyone?

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  1. Truer words have never been spoken! This was endearing, funny, insightful and a whole bunch of other fancy adjectives. To OT…! Cheers 🙂

  2. This is great. Made me cry. Good job.

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