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The Channel Was Missing


Last night I announced to our oldest that I would be in bed a little after ten. I wanted to encourage her to be home earlier than she had been the past few nights. But I knew she’d defy my desired wishes. For she had now only days left away from studies, being back at her dorm and studying for the winter’s quarter courses.

I’d finished working on editing, learning, and making a trailer for a potential monster film at half past eight. And now I’d sat down to watch an episode or so of “Arrow” on Netflix to unwind from the day. My oldest parted to go bowling with friends. At around ten after having a half cup of coffee that does help me sleep, I was beginning to dose in our living room.

I knew it was time to shut down. And I’d check on our youngest doing homework and say ‘goodnight’ to her. I’d entered my bedroom, knowing that watching a few minutes of the NFL game between the Bills and the Bengals would get me more settled into a calmer sleep. So, I thought. Until for some reason I could not get that channel to show. I scratched my head wondering what was awry with the station saying there was an issue with antenna repositioning. I thought it was our antenna’s issue. I reset various things and checked the connections. Still no channel seven, the ABC station was missing. I thought how odd.

I hit the hay a few minutes earlier due to the issue, instead of grappling with a nominal blip on the radar screen of life. This morning as I’d awakened and took care of pets, making coffee for our youngest’s thermos for school. After finishing various chores, I knew to settle into my writing before I ran and trained. As I did, I saw the news. A young football player from the Bills went into cardiac arrest and there was no game to watch after the first quarter. It was like the antenna knew I’d be distracted, had I known last night a player was near death’s door. It would indeed have disturbed me. I’d been watching the NFL since I was age four. I’ve looked forward to some NFL viewing when it’s on and am disappointed when the season ends. No other sport season has had me so fixated in watching it so intently all these decades.

So, this morning as I was writing a piece for my blog. I went online to check a grammatical issue; I then saw the NFL news. It was something that if I known about it; then I might not have been able to get a full night’s rest. I read a variety of articles on Damar Hamlin of the Buffalo Bills. I saw some ill-regarded comments by a viewer. Instead of commenting, I closed the site and said a prayer for Damar Hamlin that he recovers well. I then texted our youngest at school and expressed to her perhaps why I couldn’t get the station the game would have been being aired on. But one thing I didn’t say to her was… I’ve cared so much about people; that even after I decided to no longer be in the care-giving business after nearly three decades in it. My soul still reaches out and makes me care about complete strangers with heartache. Even if it’s only a message from an antenna.---Jody-Lynn Reicher


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