It’s that day in the year again – the Wimbledon Men’s Final. The match hasn’t started yet, but the whole atmosphere is reminding me that I’ve been very lucky to have tennis in my life since I played with my friend Jeanna in the Bella Vista High School Girls’ Tennis Tournament and won.
I have great memories of playing with my kids from the time they sat in their prams next to the courts in Evanston, Illinois on the shores of Lake Michigan, and in Whiting Bay after I moved to the Isle of Arran – those courts are gone now to make way for houses, but it was magic playing by the sea with the roses climbing up the perimeter fence.
I played with kids and friends right up until the time when I succumbed to liver disease in 2010, and although I was no champion, I remember the summer I was head teacher at an English school in St. Helier, playing and beating the German students and ending up as coach.
The only time I didn’t play was when I spent those five years in Sweden. There were no public courts and I couldn’t afford the exorbitant private fees.
The legacy of all of this is that I have great memories of days of fun and occasional amazing returns and quality time spent with my kids. And it makes it so exciting to watch the final once again, knowing the rules and feeling the effort that it takes and the joy of winning great points and most of all winning the match.
I’ll be cheering for both of them as they make the supreme effort and thank God that it is a tennis match on a sunny afternoon at Wimbledon, and not a war of nations.