The World Cup
On Thursday June 12, 2014, the footballing world will come together to rejoice in our passion. The beautiful game will be in all its glory in Brasil.
We have waited four years for it to come around again. We have waited for our teams to qualify, we have watched as they prepared for what, for some of the players, will be the last opportunity to play for their country on the world’s stage. For others, it will be the first. A time to show the world what they’ve got. A chance to move up to the next stage of their career.
England’s national team was once a mighty, formidable force. Every Englishman truly believed that every four years, we had the chance of repeating our success in 1966. We won the World Cup in 1966. Against the Germans. 4 – 2!! Yeeeesss!! Sublime victory was ours. We dined out on it for forty years.
Sadly, our more recent form belies that glittering past. No longer do we have a solid national pool of players capable of beating the world. Most clubs are made up of international superstars who all go back to play for their own country when the world cup comes around.
My husband was an avid football fan. Eat, breathe, sleep football. He watched it, he played it, he coached it. My sons inherited his passion, so I have it too. Cheering on your country at the global level is an experience not to be missed. Kind of like the Olympics only better. The tribal nature of football extends to extreme rivalry between local clubs, which is only overlooked when the same players play for your country. Steven Gerrard, of Liverpool, hated and despised by millions of fans of rival clubs in England, will be the hero of the hour if he scores for England’s national team against Italy next Saturday.
I will be among the crowd at an English pub here in Phoenix, screaming with my countrymen that the referee is a wanker, or that Balotelli should be sent off for diving. I will cheer when (if) Gerrard scores. Because he’s English and so am I. But once the season begins again in August and he goes back to being our rival, we will revile him. Ha ha !
Anyway, pardon my digression. My point today is that my husband’s passion for football was slowly eroded by the bastard disease until nothing was left. A piece of his very being –his love for football in general and Manchester United in particular, was eaten away until no trace or memory of it remained. It was a sad sight to see. He would get up and wander around the house in the middle of games. He could not focus for more than about five minutes on his beloved team.
This was a man who could tell you who scored against West Ham in the 23rd minute of the FA Cup Final in 1967. (I just made that up because I have no idea who was even IN the FA Cup Final in 1967). But you get my drift.
The last World Cup was in 2010. My husband had been diagnosed three years earlier with FTD. He was still able to enjoy it and appreciated the spectacle, the skill, the passion.
In FTD, passion is overcome by obsession. But not obsession for the past passion, obsession for the minutest of things upon which your FTD’er will focus on for hours at a time. TV, laundry, eating, cleaning, sleeping, dividing food into minute pieces. Whatever it is, they will pursue it with a passion until it drives you crazy. Until the clothes they are wearing/washing etc wear out. Until all the candy is gone. Until you are exhausted with the sheer persistence of their obsession.
As with all things FTD, this too, generally speaking, will pass. It’s a phase. Don’t you get sick of hearing that.? Kind of like with your kids, biting, kicking, whatever the bad behavior is. “It’s a phase”, “It’ll pass”. well, it usually does in FTD too, only to be replaced with another, sometimes even more annoying/disgusting/upsetting phase. I’m just keepin’ it real here.
Don’t be disheartened. You’re only human. Your best is good enough. (Unless you’re Steven Gerrard). At least it’s never boring having FTD in your life. I’m sure you have figured or are figuring out coping mechanisms by now. Just accept that it is out of your control. FTD is awesome at coming up with some new thing get to you. It is picking apart your life, piece by piece. It’s a disease. You have something powerful to help you cope.
Love and memory.
Love for all you are and do. Love for your FTD’er. Whatever they do or say.
Undying, indefatigable love.
Memory for what you had and what you have lost. Memory you can hold in your heart forever.
It might not seem like much right now, for you are having a hard time just getting through the day. One day at a time.
Spend a little time in your bed at night, thinking of good things. Things you shared, things you laughed at, things you loved. The World Cup. Just a few minutes is all it may take to put your head in a better place. It will give you the courage you need to face the next day. Just when you think you can’t take any more.
Believe me, if you’ve ever seen England play lately, you will know the meaning of true, blind dedication and love.