The Conway Cup was probably Tony's favorite day of the year. The smile never left his face on that day, and he loved every minute of it. Even when it became hard for him, he wanted to be there all day.
Last year, he died the day before the Cup was scheduled, but we had already made the decision to postpone due to looming weather. It snowed at least a foot that day. We rescheduled for April, but most of the original teams couldn't make it so it was a much smaller Cup. It was still a great day, though.
It's a lot of work to put together a soccer tournament for up to 50 teams, and although I have helped with it every year, I have always just been Tony's assistant. In preparation for the 2016 tournament, I have been working as hard as I can to get it right. I know I want it to go well for Tony, I want him to be proud of me for pulling it off. But I also want it to go well for the cause, celebrating Tony and raising money for ALS.
We made a decision to hold the tournament in April this year, instead of late February. Presumably, the weather will be better, and I wanted to be away for the weekend Tony died, instead of hosting a soccer tournament. We knew it was a gamble on whether or not the teams would show up.
So now, we are one month away from the tournament and we only have six teams registered. I'm starting to wonder if the Cup will happen at all. I have been stressing about it big time, but I had a moment of zen last week. If the Cup doesn't happen, I will be disappointed, but I will not be defeated. I cannot make 50 teams register by force of will alone. And we can try again next year (maybe in February).
It's probably some part of the state I am in to focus (bordering on obsession) on an event like this. It represents Tony's legacy, but it isn't the only part of that legacy. I'm hoping more teams will roll in, and we'll have a great day in April. If not, I know I tried (really hard).