When Darren Clarke’s wife Heather died, I thought his decision to continue playing professional golf was wrong. It is beyond me why ANYONE would want to spend their time living out of a suitcase and spending day after day on a golf course. Okay they earn telephone number money (phrase trademarked by my soon-to-be-superstar-mate Luke) but what’s the fucking point when they already have millions in the bank?
So when your wife dies, leaves you with two children to care for, logic – to me – suggests that your priorities are them, and thus you stay with them, all the time.
What I didn’t realise at the time, was that prioritising your children doesn’t automatically have to mean YOU provide the childcare exclusively. In fact some of the bravest decisions made by parents are to realise their children are better off being cared for in a way that doesn’t necessarily involve them inherently.
I judged him from afar, without any real facts, and, being totally honest, all with a falsely smug ‘it’s-not-what-I-did’ attitude.
What a prick.
When my wife Samantha was taken, I decided to give up work, people close to me queried the decision.
“You’ll need something to do."
Err, yes, raise my boy perhaps?
“You’ll never find an employer like that one.”
So fucking what, like I’m ever going to have money problems. I’d shovel shit if I had too*.
Yes, those pricks.
Can’t believe I did the same.
So last weekend, on Monday actually (I was volunteering for the Food Chain at Latitude Festival over the weekend), when I discovered Darren Clarke had won the British Open. It topped an already brilliant weekend.
I’d read a colourful interview with Chubby Chandler (Clarke’s agent as well as many others) in the Guardian last week, he was constantly being asked who he thought would win the Open. After running out of the obligatorys ‘there’s a lot of players that could win’. He eventually said “What a story it would be if Darren Clarke won the British Open.”
Well, Chubby it’s no story, it’s Mr Clarke’s new reality.
And I was chuffed for him.
His late wife, Heather, most definitely a huge part of it.
And his new fiancee.
Mr Clarke has his shit together for a widower.
If I thought he’d give a flying fuck, I’d send him an apology.
But if you are reading this, and happen to know his sister’s dentist’s dog-walker's babysitter's best friend on Facebook, be sure to pass my message on.
*send offers of shit shovelling to firstname.lastname@example.org