Not just a number
At an early point in our relationship, ryan and I developed a code number for saying i love you. We had adopted it from my mom and her ex-husband John as a term of endearment. We'd use this term often - pretty much in every correspondence and exchange. It held the same meaning as saying i love you and we'd use it frequently.
Throughout this whole world cup adventure, I've sensed ryan's presence at various points - often when I least expect it and at times when i need him most. He'll pop up in random, funny ways and sometimes in hard, sad ways. That's life in the grieving roller coaster game.
Yesterday on the shuttle bus back to the hotel, Megan let us know our numbers. Emy and i both hoped for a good number - and immediately our term of endearment came to my mind. As she read the series of numbers 141, 142 and 143 - i couldn't believe my ears. And as I told them about how ryan and i would use 143 to signify i love you, we found out that was my number. Out of the hundreds of athletes and hundreds of race bib numbers, it's impossible to think that's just a coincidence.
As i line up later today, ready to take the boards and propel forward through space and time, i take comfort in that number and am armed with the knowledge that ryan's here with me now, cheering me on and helping me strive toward my goals.