My maternal grandmother was a college basketball fanatic, especially when it came to the UConn Huskies. It didn't matter if the game on TV was the men's or the women's team. Either way, you could count on Babci to be watching and cheering them on.
My stepfather told me a story about how he dropped by her apartment once after she moved here to Rhode Island. She was watching the game and was completely fired up. He sat down and they cheered the men on. It was only after 20 minutes or so that he realized something...the game was a repeat. She didn't care.
We took her to a UConn-Providence College game in Providence a few years ago. I sat beside her as she rested in her wheelchair, overlooking the court, and she was clapping and cheering (and occasionally mentioning how good the young men looked in their shorts). The younger members of the crowd kept looking at the tiny 91-year old woman next to me and complete strangers came over to say hi and ask if she was rooting for PC or UConn. "UConn," she said. "Always UConn." Even last year, in the final weeks before she passed away, she still wanted to watch the March Madness games.
And so it's especially poignant right now, as we approach the 1-year anniversary of her passing. The UConn Huskies won the national championship last night. My wife commented "It's too bad Babci isn't here to see this. She's be having so much fun." Then she stopped. "Maybe she is watching and cheering for them."
I like to think so.
Congratulations, UConn Huskies. You've made my grandmother very happy.