I’ve lived in Washington state (nearly) my whole life. As a child my family moved here from Oklahoma, where I was born, when I was just one year old. My husband and I traveled to Texas for his work and put in a two year stint there. It was just long enough to get the job done before we came running back up to the Pacific North West. Both of us having lived on the eastern side of the state before, this time we were one our way to Seattle, just about as far west as you could go.
Eastern Washington and Western Washing are two very distinct worlds all their own separated by the Cascade Mountains. I grew up in three hundred day of sunshine a year surrounded by desert foot hills covered in sand an sagebrush. I’ve been told that Rattlesnake mountain, just outside of town is the highest peak west of the Mississippi that doesn’t have a single tree on it. If you don’t know much about Washington state, you’d probably never guess that we have a vast desert at the center of state itself. Western Washington, on the other hand is a lush green oasis. There are rivers and streams everywhere, forests so thick that you can’t see them for the trees, and mountains topped by alpine glaciers, and the cliff-lined vast Pacific Ocean.
Moving to the other side of the state, and back from Texas was an adventure. It was January, 2008 and on the road home, I discovered I was pregnant with our second child. New job, new place to live, new baby, oh what and adventure it would be.
Miss Elliott was born on October 3, 2008 and we would live just outside of Seattle for the next six years. Of course, as it so often does in life the adventure we had dreamed up came to resemble nothing of what we had planned. Miss Elliott was born with Tay-Sachs Disease and she would die on February 3, 2012.
I despise the winter. The cold, and death it brings. The darkness of Seattle, inundated with it’s never ending rain. Sometimes it’s just too much to bear. But in 2013 the Seattle Seahawks began a winning streak that was encouraging and uniting the city, giving all of us something to look forward to, and something to be proud of. That might sound petty, or stupid, or even superficial but being a part of the synergy of the city itself was electric. It was as if everyone came together for a common goal. It inspired, and strengthened, and for me, it distracted.
As the Seahawks continued their winning streak and went into the playoffs I was lucky enough to go to the game in which they defeated the New Orlean’s Saints. You couldn’t believe the roar of the crowd in Century Link field. The intensity was palpable. With just one game left in the post game season, if they won they would be on their way to the Super Bowl. The previous Super Bowl had been held on February 3, 2013, and marked one year since Miss Elliott’s passing. Some friends invited us to a party. Loren said yes before he realized the date, but we kept our obligation and attended anyway despite my desire to remain home in bed. In the end, I was glad for the distraction. So this next year, as we made plans to attend their party again, on February 2, 2014, I was happy that our Seahawks were going to be playing and it gave us something positive to look forward to.
Last summer we moved away from Seattle and back to where I spent most of my childhood to what I consider to be my hometown. Here we are in a new house, with new jobs, and a new school for Skylar, and oh yes, finally, the sun. But now for the first time since we’ve moved, as we circle back on another year and our Hawks have done it again, I find I miss Seattle. I miss the energy and camaraderie swirling around the atmosphere. I miss the unification of all Seattleites in a common goal.
February 3, 2015 will mark the third anniversary of Miss Elliott’s passing. This thought is especially troubling to me because of the fact that she passed when she was three years old. Meaning that this year there will come a point at which she will have been gone longer than she ever was her here. I’m happy that we’ll be going back to our friend’s Super Bowl party again this year, to be there in Seattle with the friends who knew Miss Elliott throughout her life and to cheer on our Seahawks as they defend their title of Super Bowl Champions. I’m happy our boys made it to the big game once again. And on February 1, 2015 I’ll once again be happy for the distraction that takes my mind off of the sorrow I feel, especially strong, at that time of year, this year in particular.
It may only be just a game, but oh, for so many people it’s so much more. Go Hawks!