Editor’s Note: Following is a page from my spiritual notebook.


My flight landed in Michigan on a Thursday evening. At my son David’s condo, I unpacked my suitcase in his spare room. On Saturday, I’d see my older son, Brian and my two grandsons, Bill and Sammy. They lived in an outlying suburb.


Saturdays in their lives invol-ved athletics. My calendar that day read: “Bill – basketball 8:15,” and “Sammy – hockey 12:00.” Everyone would be at the games, including my ex-husband, Wayne.


Usually, seeing him wasn’t a concern. Our marriage ended more than twenty years ago. Over the years, we mixed politely at grand-children’s baptisms and birthday parties. Amicable?Maybe. Until recently… .


 A few months ago, Wayne was angry about something I did for David and called me. Hearing his icy rage, I froze. Despite years of therapy, I fell back into our long-dead marriage and my stomach ached. I thought of Captain Kirk in TV’s 1960 “Star Trek.” Under attack, Kirk commanded his star ship Enterprise, “Raise shields!”


I need my defenses.


Hearing Wayne’s anger, I took a breath and summoned a that’s-your-opinion stance. I closed my eyes. Be calm. I ended the call say-ing, “I’m sorry you feel that way.”


I sat a moment after I hung up. I thought about “Star Trek.” Some-times the captain’s command was not quick enough or an enemy at-tack was too strong and his star ship sustained damage. Unprepared for Wayne’s anger — like the strongly attacked Enterprise — I was knock-ed off balance. I drew a breath. That’s all about him. Self-talk helped, but it took more than a day to make “repairs” to my own star ship.


About six weeks later, I was working on my up-coming book and wondered if I should ask Wayne for permission to use him as a character. After several weeks of thought, I decided to bite the bullet and call him. Better to err on the side of caution.


Wayne answered. Business-like, I told him my request. I ex-plained, “I’ve changed your name but some of our classmates will know it’s you, when I say myfirst husband.”


He paused. Then he said firm-ly, “Take me out. I don’t want to be anywhere in your book. That’s your business.”


“OK.” At least, I tried. His rejection hurt, but not too bad. Since I initiated the call, I was prepared.


But, two weeks before I flew to Michigan, Wayne sent me a surprise indirect jab through our special child, David. Unprepared, I bled salty tears. I sniffled a day or two. Again, I coached myself. There’s nothing I can do about Wayne. All I can do is examine my part. Maybe I can change something there. I struggled to understand. What did I do to Wayne? It’s beyond me… .


Finally, I gave the mess to My Higher Power — as best I could. I began to pray blessings on Wayne. Having taken that spiritual action, I thought the situation was “neutral-ized.” Just in case, I decided to cool it with him.


Saturday, David and I piled into my rented Versa at 7:00 a.m. Grandson Bill’s game was at 8:15 and the drive was less than thirty minutes. Plenty of time to find the high school. The gym was in a small suburb I barely knew, but the day before, Brian gave me direc-tions. “Mom, turn left on Chicago Drive.” He explained how to make the right-then-left “Michigan turn” and added, “Turn at the next major intersection. This way is shorter.”


Phone to my ear, I jotted his directions on the back of an en-velope I found on David’s kitchen counter. I told Brian, “OK.” But, I allowed extra travel time. Just in case… .


On game day, when I got to Chicago Drive, I could not find the note I’d made. Oh-oh! I’ll have to rely on my memory. Though David had been to Bill’s games with his dad, he did not remember the way.


We’re lost! Minutes ticked by. David pulled out his cell and called Brian who was waiting at the gym. “We’re at Oak Street and Summer … we can’t find the high school.”


But Brian had not grown up in that town. “I don’t know where that is.” He said, “Go back to Chicago Drive then turn on 28th Avenue.”


I drove back to the original turning and started over. David called out, “There’s 32nd Avenue … Oh-oh. There’s 34th! ”


I wheeled around, and returned to that Chicago Drive turn. More time passed. David kept looking at cross street numbers but we had to call Brian again. David’s agitated conversation with his brother made no sense to me. Upset, I pulled over and took the phone.


I told Brian the cross streets where we had stopped. Surely we are near the gym. Brian sighed.


“Ma, you are way south of here … Go back to the Family Fare. Turn right. Go to Chicago Drive … .”


Not THAT again! Near tears, I drove back and started over. How can I be so dumb! Cars whizzed by as I poked along while David watched for the 28th Avenue. At last he cried, “There it is!”


We were at the gym in min-utes. I checked my watch: 9:15. Late, late, late!


Missing his son’s game, Brian stood outside watching for us. He smiled, “Mom! Here you are!” I gave him a quick hug, then his brows knit. “You look hassled!”


More than you know!


We rushed into the gym filled with shouting spectators. In the enormous space, two games were being played side-by-side. I had missed all of one game and just three minutes remained in his last play-off.


Overwhelmed by yelling and activity, I stood with Brian as he pointed to his son and shouted, “Good play, Bill!”


After the game, Wayne walk-ed by. He raised his eyebrows to me as if to say, “Any fool can find this big high school.”


Beast! I’m already upset … .


Smiling, his wife approached, holding out her i-phone. “You need to get a cell with a GPS. You’ll never be lost then.”


Ouch! I wanted to cry, or es-cape and pull myself together. No time. My other grandson, Sammy, was playing hockey in about an hour. Can’t miss that, too!


My personal Enterprise was damaged, but like Captain Kirk, I limped along, hoping for the best. When all seems lost, the next-right-thing — surely — is to go on, in faith that all will be well.



Frances Fritzie

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