there's always next year...

I'm still on cloud nine.  I don't ever want to come down.  I'm also extremely hungover, because it turns out, you can't recover from drinking in your 30's like you did in your 20's.  & because of that I'll try and keep this short and sweet.

The Cleveland Cavaliers are the NBA champions.  Let that sink in.  Cleveland - Champions. This year is next year.

I don't know if my words will do my feelings justice, but as I sit down to write this ode to my hometown with swollen eyes from tears of happiness, a sore throat from yelling, and a championship size hangover from celebrating last night - I'm going to try my best to convey just what this means to me and my city.

It means everything. everything.

Like so many others born and raised here, I grew up a Cleveland fan.  My Mom grew up in Old Brooklyn and my Dad is from Parma Heights.  Cleveland is in my blood.  It is my dna.  My Dad holds the main responsibility for giving me (what was) my horrible fate of loving every Cleveland team more than any grown adult should.  And today...this day after Father's Day...I am eternally grateful for James Lynch as my Dad.  And I'm eternally grateful that Grandpa Lynch instilled the love of Cleveland and our teams in my Dad.  I'm eternally grateful that Grandpa Lynch took my Dad to the championship game in '64.  I'm eternally grateful that my Dad took me to Game 5 of the '95 World Series.  I'm eternally grateful that my Dad taught me to appreciate sports...taking me to see Nolan Ryan's last game against the Tribe...and his last win.  I'm eternally grateful that my parents would load us in my Dad's Oldsmobile to drive to the middle of flipping nowhere in Richland, Ohio to cheer on Mark Price and Brad Daugherty at the Coliseum.  I'm eternally grateful that every Tribe game we went to as a family...every game...at Municipal Stadium, my mom would selflessly take the seat behind one of the poles.  A few Father's Days ago my sisters and I got my Dad a brick at The Jake that said "There's Always Next Year."  It is the closest to crying I've ever seen my Dad come...his response was "Even when I'm gone, I will always be with the Tribe now."  That is how much Clevelander's love our sports teams.  They are family to us.  They give us a sense of community and pride.  In our blue collar town, we were raised to understand the value of hard work.  My family and most Cleveland families are full of union men who helped build this city to where it is today.  We are all rebuilding this city together.  And that is what makes this championship so much sweeter than I ever thought it would be.  WE did this...together. 

I was going to watch the game at Hoopples last night, because 1) it is my favorite bar in CLE; and 2) for nostalgia.  For various reasons, thankfully I didn't.  I ended up with my family and friends at a bar in the new Flats...and it was perfect.  It was a perfect night.  With perfect people.  And a perfect ending.  I cried...because I always cry when happy things happen.  But I wasn't the only one.  Everyone cried.  It was so much - so much fun.  Let's ride this wave as long as we can.  See you downtown on Wednesday, Cleveland.  We have a group of amazing gentlemen to thank with one hell of a parade!

In Northeast Ohio - nothing is given.  Everything is earned.


the more things change...

It has been well over 3 years since I've visited this place.  I needed somewhere to write a letter to someone and not really give it to him...ya know, just get it all out and move on.  And well, this is the place I have. 

Dear JJ Quik,

Hi. Its been just over a year since we last spoke. Its been just over a year since we last saw one another.  Some days I think about you a lot.  Some days I don't think about you at all.  I think since we just hit the one year away from each other mark - the emotions of it finally being over have hit me.  We were on and off for 9 years.  I guess in the back of my mind I always thought it would be back on one day.  I've accepted that that is not the case.  I want to apologize for anything I did in the last year that was stupid.  I was heartbroken and hurt and the lack of closure the last time we saw each other was very difficult to understand.  I was in the wrong.  However, I hope you realize that you hold just as much blame for the way we have treated each other as I do reacting to said treatment.  Anyways, I don't want this to be negative or a blame game - I just wanted to say I'm sorry for anything I've done to bother you. 

Now, the crap stuff - I miss you.  I miss your smell, I miss your touch, I miss your stupid arrogance/ego, I miss your eyes. I miss the way that you would touch me...hold me.  I miss the passion & chemistry we had. I miss making you think that you had a receding hairline. The one thing I miss the most is you protecting me.  I miss putting you in your place & I miss you calling me on my bs.  I miss thinking about maybe having a family with you & you telling me what a great Mom I would be.  I miss having our coffee together on the couch every Sat & Sun morning while we shared reading the paper. I miss playing catch with you in the front yard.  I miss playing "roof ball" - the dumb game we made up.  I miss talking Cleveland sports with you.  I miss the first time you told me you loved me on a May night in 2008.  I remember the exact moment I fell in love with you.  It was a November, 2007 cold morning & you were getting ready for work...making your coffee and packing your lunch...and I finally climbed out of bed.  I was in the kitchen putting on my shoes to go home and to my job at 6:30a and barely awake...and trying over and over to put them on...not understanding why they wouldn't fit.  Finally, after at least 5 minutes...I looked up at you laughing uncontrollably and I reached into my shoes to pull out the paper towels you put in them so they wouldn't fit.  I know that seems so dumb, but it is the exact moment I loved you. 

I miss the way you would always brush my hair behind my ears wherever we were and whether I was looking at you or paying attention or not.  I noticed it every. single. time.  And I fell in love with you over and over every time you did it.  I miss flirting with you, damn it.  Our sarcastic banter was a high every time we spoke.  I loved you more than I've ever loved anyone and more than I've loved any man since.  And I loved everything about you...I loved you because of the good and I loved you in spite of the bad.  I was fully in love with all of you.  At one point I thought you were the "one."  Our love was real...if not for you, for me. And that's fine if it was just me. Our chemistry was undeniable and our time together will always bring me butterflies.  imu.com ilu.org

I needed to say these things in order to say goodbye and let you go. 

I know you are dating and meeting women...I'm dating and meeting men - and maybe you'll see this one day.  maybe you won't.  maybe you'll care & maybe you won't.  I guess whether you do or don't - what's meant to be will be. xxoo.