Saturday, January 24, 2004

I’ve been so busy with fun tax forms lately. DE 6, DE 7, 941, 940……………….you get the idea.
Last night was another fun filled evening at deva’s with karaoke and dancing. I’m feeling much better now, finally!

I dragged my best friend Leisa to the Chamber mixer on Thursday night at the OC Register. We took a tour of the building and it was quite interesting. I never realized how much work goes into the newspaper every day. It’s really amazing to get a look at tall the different departments, editors, graphic artists, writers, researchers, the many people running the presses (at 35 miles an hour by the way). Anyway, if you get a chance it’s a tour worth your while. I did run into two of the reporters that did stories on me during the election. George Stewart I knew already because he has been in deva’s several times for interviews. He writes a column as well for the Tustin News that’s pretty entertaining. The other reporter I spoke with on the phone only so it was nice to put a face with a name. Tustin’s Chamber mixers are becoming a fun event to attend-finally!

Monday, January 19, 2004

A few days ago I had the sudden craving for orange slices. While refreshing, sweet, and full of vitamin C, I usually don’t think about eating them. It’s obvious to me today why the sudden urge. In 1991, on January 19th, my father passed away from cancer. I was there, holding him as he let that last breath escape, never to inhale again. My father held on through the night of the 18th, I remember it like it was yesterday. He kept asking me what time it was, trying to look up at the clock. He clung to life a bit longer as to not die on the same date as his father did of cancer, for his mother’s sake. My grandmother never did recover from losing her husband and son. She lived several more years and fought off the depression repeatedly. My grandmother died on August 3, her birthday, of cancer.

You’re probably wondering why the orange slices………... My father was Coach Roger Renz, basketball coach at Findlay High School in Ohio. I remember my mother cutting up a bag full of oranges before every game for my father to take to the gymnasium for his players. Every half time the players went to the locker room for orange slices and Juicy Fruit gum. Sometimes for a reaming from my father if they weren’t playing up to their potential. I know it may sound a bit strange, but sometimes it’s the littlest things that remind you of someone. I certainly remember riffling through my father’s sports coat pockets searching for the Juicy Fruit. I can see that big Tupperware container sitting on top of his clipboard, where he drew the plays for the game, tucked under his arm as we made our way to the game. My father passed away during one of his team’s basketball games. They announced it after the game and the gymnasium, I was told, was full of silence and tears. He coached right through chemotherapy, right up until he went back into the hospital for the last time. The funeral was held in the gymnasium to accomadate the hundreds of people attending. There was a basketball on top of the casket in the middle of all the flowers. The casket was on the court, right under the basket, which seemed very fitting.

I have his leather jacket that I bought him for Christmas one year hanging in my closet. I took it from the hospital after he passed away (after a struggle from a horrible step mother, I don’t want to think of her today.) There’s still a piece of Juicy Fruit gum in the pocket. I miss my father very much; he was a great man who did everything in his power to help his players, students, family, and friends. I hope I can live up to what he accomplished. Most people never even knew how much he helped others until he passed away and the local radio station had an hour show where people called in to talk about him. Now that’s a true sign of a special human being. He was only 49 years old, never smoked, rarely touched any alcohol, exercised daily, ate healthy (was a health teacher), and our family grew our own vegetables. Sometimes it just doesn’t matter how healthy you try to be.

I’m going to go cut up an orange for breakfast.