LOADS of publicity for Sul Ross and I've been able to take quite a few photos of the team with this unusual member...but for me, the story is just starting.
My mother and biological father attended college here in Alpine decades ago. This was during the time they married. Thirty-seven years ago, Mike played on the Sul Ross football team with my biological father, Rick. I've met a few people who played with Rick and it's been a struggle not to share my entire, sordid, traumatic life history with them.
The first time mom and I drove around Alpine together a few months ago, she pointed out the house where Rick first beat her. Talk about a conversation stopper.
I had known since high school that Rick beat Mom during their 9-year-marriage. It was something Mom shared openly with classes as a teacher because it helped students understand that abuse isn't always something that happens to "someone else." it can happen to anyone - including a beautiful, educated young woman from Andrews, Texas.
For years, I was a kid who went to visit Rick and my step-mother, Debbie, during the summer and for Christmas. Rick tried. But most of the time, he sent me with my step-mother and we didn't have much in common. When I was 22, I refused to go on any more fake visits to a man who wasn't functioning as my father but wanted the accolades of being a great father. There were tons of broken promises from him as I was growing up.
I was fortunate enough to have a man who picked up the slack and fixed the broken heart Rick left behind. That man is Butch - the man we named our son, Stroman, for...the man who is my father-figure. I have his morals, his humor and I even get told that I have Butch's eyes.
So, Mike asked me about my parents the other day and I had to admit that I hadn't spoken to Rick in about 10 years. And Mike doesn't know about Rick's physical abuse issues, his infidelity, his separation from us kids (my brother stopped speaking to Rick about 4 years ago). Meanwhile, Rick doesn't know that a) I'm married to Drew, b) we have 2 children, who are his biological grandchildren, c) we live in alpine...and tons of other things. but there was always a way he could find me. He didn't. I'm not upset about that, but I'm curious how a person could knowingly have a child out in the world and not wonder how they are...
So now, the former players on Mike's team are trying to all get back together. And Mike has been in contact with Rick by email. This weekend is the last game of the season. Home game. Rick could be in the stands. I don't even know that I would recognize him...or that he would know what his own daughter looks like.
that's it. just wanted to share. next post...i promise some humor.
thanks for keeping us in your thoughts on Saturday.