In early October, my fiancé and I decided we were going to spend Thanksgiving with her Mom and Dad as well as her two brothers. it was going to be the first time I met her oldest brother, his wife and two children. Unfortunately, during this visit, my soon to be Sister-In-Law and her 2 boys were not able to attend due to work and school. I was absolutely excited about meeting and spending time with my 2 future brother-in-laws. After I was visited her mom and dad for the first time. I decided to purchase 4 tickets to go see the New Orleans Saints and the Pittsburgh Steelers play Football at Heinz Field the day after Thanksgiving. The only thing we all had in common is both teams wore black and gold. My fiancé and her 2 brothers were huge Steeler Fans while I was a big time Who Dat. Most of my family had season tickets to the New Orleans Saint from day one. I was actually at the very first game in 1975, when John Gilliam ran a 97 yard kickoff return for a touchdown. My fiancé and I flew up a few days before Thanksgiving and stayed at the Doubletree Hotel in Monroeville. Out of respect for her parents, we did not stay at the house since we were not married. On the Wednesday night before Thanksgiving, I was able to get her Dad, her oldest brother, my fiancé and I all went out to dinner at the Capital Grille in downtown Pittsburgh. It gave me an opportunity to spend time with her oldest brother and dad to get to know them a lot better. Her mom had to work and her youngest brother had a date that afternoon and they were not able to join us for dinner. The next day was Thanksgiving. The stores were closed so her Mom didn’t have to go to work. Since I loved to cook, I helped my mom prepare Thanksgiving Dinner, which was absolutely delicious. It felt good to sit around the table with my new family. My fiancé and I announced to everyone that we were going to be married the day after Christmas, December 26th, 2014. We decided we were going to get married in an Historical Chapel in Downtown Dunedin, called Saint Andrews. Although we had not been engaged a long time, I was brave enough to ask my fiancé if she would marry me before the new year. It would actually benefit us both from a Tax stand point and I could surely use any help in that category. She agreed and said it would help her too to claim married and not single on our end of the year taxes!! During dinner that evening, her Dad decided to give up his ticket to the football game so all 4 of us young kids could attend our first football game together. I knew I was marrying into a Sport Family. Everyone in her family liked all sports from Football, to Baseball, to Hockey, to Basketball and even NASCAR. The day after Thanksgiving was Black Friday to the shoppers, but to us, it was game time!! LOL 🙂 That Friday afternoon, we all headed downtown to Heinz Field. We decided to park in the parking arena near River’s Casino. As we began the walk to the stadium, I became extremely winded. I looked at my fiancé and said I have that same feeling I experienced when I was in Bentonville, AR on a business trip. I was not only short of breath, but I was also sweating profusely. I kind of held everyone up as it took me a bit more time to get to the stadium. As we entered Heinz Field, we had to go up the ramp to get to our seats. It began to happen to me again and this time I was gasping for air. I did not want to call attention to myself, but I think everyone knew I was struggling. I just tried to ignore it and pretend it didn’t happen. As long as I didn’t move to quickly, I could catch my breath. The game was extremely exciting. It was a back and forth scoring game with the Steelers actually winning with 2 minutes and 38 seconds left to go in the game. I looked at my fiancé’s brothers and said, I know Drew Brees is going to march the Saints down the field and score the winning touchdown. I was surely right. With only 23 seconds left on the scoreboard, the Saints scored the winning touchdown and extra point. I didn’t say a word the rest of the night about their loss. I had been in that situation way too many times before as a Saint fan, so there was no need for me to rub it in. After the game was over, we had that slow quiet walk towards the car. Before leaving the area, we decided to stop at the Casino for a while to let that traffic die down before heading back home. I sat at a 4 card Poker Table and proceeded to teach my fiancé’s brothers how to play. They didn’t join in, but watched me play for about 45 minutes. That night, I left with a few extra dollars, but made sure I was not betting crazy like I used to in the past when I would visit a casino. That Sunday, my fiancé and I headed back to Saint Petersburg to put the final touches on our upcoming wedding.
Will to Live – Fear, Love, & Pride continued – Part 80