For Florida, it’s been a joyous run to Dallas, Texas, for the Sweet 16.
For me, it’s been a trip of mixed emotions.
It’s my first time back to the Dallas area since I sold my dad’s house in 2007. He died a year earlier in 2006 at 62 of a massive heart attack.
He was a heavy smoker, an addiction he couldn’t kick. My dad had his faults, but I choose to remember the good times, like when he taught me to swim and fish in Lake George, N.Y., when he showed up for my high-school soccer games and that afternoon in 1988, when we sat through both games of a Mets-Expos doubleheader in the upper deck at Shea Stadium.
He moved to Dallas in 1999 as part of a company transfer. His second wife died of leukemia in 2004, which took a toll on him emotionally. In our last conversion, I let him know about a radio interview I was about to do in the Dallas area during UF’s national title run. He told me he would listen, and that he was proud.
A few weeks later, he was gone, but not forgotten. I still wish he was around so I could buy him a ticket, or stay with him a few days in that red brick house in McKinney. I’m sure we’d have some fun things to catch up on.
And life carries on.