Monday, March 27, 2017

#sol17 Day 27 Our Last Match

I realized I could win in the middle of our last match.  He gritted his teeth again and again. When it was my turn, he didn't chide about how long I was taking; instead, he leaned back and shut his eyes. We'd been playing as distraction from pain and treatments for a few years as he battled a relentless foe and I had yet to win even though I had kept my long ago promise. That night, however, it was clear he was getting thinner and weaker and sicker.  I knew that someday soon, my Scrabble partner would be gone.

I watched him shut his eyes and the memories of lying on our tummies on the family room floor playing "no mercy" Scrabble came flooding back.  He made me promise to try to win even though he was a tween and I was in college. For a few years, I could win; but as the advantage of age disappeared, he would consistently whoop everyone!  He certainly had no mercy for anyone, even his big sister.  In time, I became the only person willing to play against a man who played Scrabble relentlessly against the computer!

Until that last night, I had not been in a position to win for decades. Yet as the tiles dwindled and my own victory was possible, I did not keep that promise.  I'm not sure if he knew that I had "given him the game," but neither of us said a word about it. He slowly headed off to bed and I headed home, wondering, but not sure this was our last game.

I'm sure he has been honing his skills since that last match with me; someday, we'll have a rematch or two or three and I will keep my promise.

Leah Jaques wrote a post on the Two Writing Teachers Challenge about playing board games that stirred all kinds of memories and changed my planned post for today!  She's MY mentor text for today. 


Unknown said...

Wow, a sad but beautiful piece filled with symbolism and metaphors for life. I'm sure your brother appreciates you coming over to play games with him. Even if he knows you let him win, I'm sure he understands.

Tara said...

This was a game in which it didn't matter who "won" or "lost" - you both won, really, just being together.

Ramona said...

What a gift you gave him in the time you spent together playing "as distraction from pain." I think he must have loved those hours (years) with a big sis who was beaten again and again, yet passed on that final opportunity. I know you look forward to a rematch time.