I went to the Dodger game yesterday, 16 days after Diane’s death, with four of her former classmates. Was I wrong? Before answering, know that I carried guilt in each pants pocket and my wallet.
Peter, who organized the group, first asked a little more than a month ago. I told him no. Between the state of Diane’s health and her wheelchair, it would be uncomfortable at least.
“How about you?” he asked. “And leave Diane home? Not a chance.”
Next came fate’s turn, on Aug. 14.
During the shiva period, Peter asked again. “It will be good for you,” he argued.
At the end of the week, he called. No, thanks.
Deep into depression, I wrestled with the invitation overnight. I called back the next day and said yes.
Thought about it during the week. I was too guilty to mention aloud going to the game.
Over Shabbos, I returned to my former community, was reunited with friends from 25 years ago, and I felt a blend of uplifted – because I was back – blue because I could not share it with Diane.
When Peter’s car rolled into our driveway yesterday afternoon, there were four lovely people, two of whom I knew well.
Arriving at Dodger Stadium, one woman in the group, Diane’s oldest friend, ailing, was going to have difficulty navigating steps distances.
Steve Park, an LAPD officer, three years and 10 months from retirement, asked if we wanted a wheelchair.
When it was delivered to us by an extraordinarily courteous aide, and then steered by her down lengthy passageways, and via shortcuts, I felt at home, walking alongside Diane’s friend Judi. For a flash, it was like the not unhappy old days prior to 16 days ago when Diane, in her chair, and I visited many places without hesitation.
The faultless aide even took the uncommon step of finding new seating for our group that would be more accessible for Judi.
Judi’s wheelchair helped assuage some of my guilt.