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Friday, February 18, 2011

reminders of love

last night i went to see the documentary RISE, which is the story of the ill-fated 1961 US figure skating team whose plane crashed in brussels on the way to the world figure skating championships in prague. the entire 18 member team of america's best and brightest skaters along with their coaches and assorted family members perished. all 72 aboard were gone. {great article detailing it here}
while it happened just before i was born, i often heard snippets here and there as i grew up. we were a wide world of sports family. every weekend, it was on our television. jim mckay, the host, was practically a member of our family! my mom and i would watch figure skating together in the winter, and gymnastics in the summer. in between we were voracious packer fans… really, my mom was a huge sports nut. huge.
olympics were always a big deal around our house, too. bruce jenner, olga corbett, nadia comenici, scotty hamilton, brian boitano, eric heiden… we were pretty much on a first name basis with all of them and many more.
 i was in kindergarten the year peggy flemming won the gold in the 1968 olympics. i wasn't old enough to remember much, but i'll never forget her granny smith apple dress with the little white collar. i remember dorothy hamill's cute little shrug when she won the gold in 1976.
 i had my hair cut like hers… but with natural waves and no hair straighteners back then… the cut was an epic fail {at least it was for me}.
as the youngest kid in our family, i probably spent the most time side-by-side with my mom. she had some pretty significant back issues/surgeries/recoveries and i remember chilling with her on saturday and sunday afternoons with her in her lazy boy, me oftentimes sitting on the floor {too close to the television, most likely} watching with her. we'd analyze the skating and try to guess their scores and anxiously await the marks like we were sitting right there in the kiss and cry area like the skaters.
seeing RISE last night made me really miss my mom. no one can watch skating like she could. the hubs makes a miserable stand in and my own kids never sat still long enough to ever watch.
the talent and grace that emerged from the smoking wreckage february 15, fifty years ago is nothing short of amazing.


  1. I saw the Ice Capades and Ice Follies shows when I was a kid, but I was never that into skating.

    Isn't it funny, though, what makes us ache for those we miss? I've been dreaming about my mom every night lately, and it's been disconcerting.

    After more than 19 years, there's a void.

  2. Lots of similarities we have as it relates to our mamas. I'm glad you have all those great memories of her. :)

  3. That is so interesting! We always used to watch figure skating on TV and were so fascinated by those celebrities! Some years ago our daughter got us tickets to see Stars on Ice with Scott Hamilton and others we'd always seen only on TV.

    I'd forgotten about the crash incident.

  4. Wow! I was just reading about that documentary in our newspaper. Looks fascinating. I also had "the Dorothy Hammil." Oh my.

    It's hard to be motherless, no matter the age. xo


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