Wednesday, November 22, 2006

A Thanksgiving weekend to forget and one to cherish

The Dolphins play on Thanksgiving this year, a rare occurrence. My Gators play FSU this weekend as well, that's not so uncommon because this rivalry game is usually played on the Saturday after Thanksgiving.

But thinking about these things reminds me of Thanksgiving 1993, a Thanksgiving to forget. I was 24 years old and I had been married for a little over a year. That season the Dolphins played on Thanksgiving in a memorable game against the Dallas Cowboys. Some of you may remember the Leon Lett (Let it be) play where the Cowboy defensive lineman touched a blocked Dolphins field goal attempt and the Dolphins picked it up and scored a touchdown. The Dolphins won the game in dramatic fashion and caused my divorce.

Actually that's an oversimplification, but my ex-wife and I did argue about the fact that I refused to turn off the game during dinner and the next day she left. As you can imagine, our problems went much deeper than that one incident but it was the straw that broke the proverbial camel's back I suppose. She said I had changed, that I wasn't the same man she had fallen in love with and married.

It took almost exactly a year for me to learn that she had been exactly right in that assessment. It was November of 1994 when I was diagnosed with Wilson's Disease. You can read more about it by clicking the link but I'll summarize it by saying that my liver doesn't metabolize copper properly and thus it was being stored in my tissues where it affected my neurological functions as well as my moods. At the time I was experiencing depression but I didn't know it, and my wife leaving me only sank me deeper into it, because I still loved her.

The day after my ex-wife left me, I was a wreck. Staying at my mother's house (because I couldn't bear to be alone in our apartment) and lamenting my situation, I received a call from my good friend Albert. He is a fellow alumnus of UF and asked me if he could come over to watch the UF/FSU game. He knew what had happened the day before and was looking for a way to console me without bringing it up explicitly. I'm glad he did. That's what friends are for. The Gators lost convincingly which didn't cheer me up at all.

This Thanksgiving, as I watch the Dolphins play, I'll have a lot to be thankful for. I'm a much happier man. I have found the love of my life, Ana Ivette, with whom I have been married for 8 years and to whom I proposed on Thanksgiving day in 1997, and I'm blessed with the best friends a man could ask for. In fact, I think I'll ask Albert if he wants to come over and watch the UF/FSU game at my place, on HD.

Happy Thanksgiving.


Srcohiba said...

Happy turkey day dude. I actually know alot about Wilson's Disease. Had a disability case years ago with a guy who had it and who had cognitive issues when the copper levels were high. Fortunately, they caught it in time and he did not develop a chirrotic liver. I even deposed the UM Specialist Dr. Schiff on the topic. I'm sure you know him.

Jose Aguirre said...

We're off to a good start with the Dolphins' win! Now if our Gators can take care of business tomorrow this will be a wonderful weekend!