Back in November, I was starting to go to the driving range so I could get into the game of golf rather than just whacking at the ball and watching it roll three feet. Or worse, injuring my wrists because I struck a sound blow to the greens instead of the ball. Besides playing with Chip, I had planned on going out with Chandler. He was supposed to take me to the range and give me some tips, but because of the incessant rain in November, the range had been closed every time we planned to go. That sort of makes me sick, because what an amazing memory we could have made with him telling me, “Mom, keep this up and this down and this straight and this parallel.”
So today I met one of Chandler’s best friends at the course. They used to play together all the time. I told him Chandler was supposed to come out with me and give me some tips, but it never happened. He grinned and said, “Well, I just gave you all the tips I used to give Chandler.”
By the end of the lesson, Grant had me hitting up and out. I hadn’t hit since November, so I was pretty happy just to make contact with the ball.
At one point, Grant said, “Let me see your glove…” As he examined the glove on my right hand, the realization hit that I was wearing the glove backward on the wrong hand. I joked, “Oh, Chandler, you didn’t know your mom was so special, did you.” it sure felt better on the correct hand….the Velcro didn’t scratch me.
I loved hearing Grant’s stories about Chandler. They lived so much of life together — in the ocean, on the river, or on the golf course, three of Chandler’s favorite places. As I was leaving, I said, “Chandler had the best friends.” Grant grinned and responded, “That’s because Chandler was the best friend.” My heart welled with pride and my eyes with tears.
I’m so proud of my son. I’m under no delusion that he would have always received the “best behaved” award — unless you were the parent in a home where he was helping clean up after a party or the dad whose daughter Chandler kept from being inappropriately hit on by some loser. In the things that matter most, Chandler was the kind of person I want my kids to be. I am sad that I didn’t understand the totality of that while he was alive on this planet.
If everything I believe is true, Chandler was watching today’s golf lesson with a big grin, saying, “My buddy Grant is telling my mom exactly what he told me. ‘Keep your elbow next to your body on your backswing.’ She should do it cuz’ it actually works!"