4 years.

20130614-105241.jpgEvery year this day comes and goes but unlike this day, the memory of you doesn’t come and go. No, your memory is here to stay, it sits in that corner of my mind, the corner that I pass every day, and there’s no way to avoid it. It’s not a bad thing, I enjoy thinking about those memories of times that we had together for those 24 years and 364 days. There are times that I will just be sitting doing work or reading something and all of a sudden I will think of something you said or something we did and I will crack that smile that you so often made me smile. All those times that you made me laugh for no particular reason. I think that’s why I like to make others laugh, because I know the joy and happiness that it brought me when you made me laugh.

There are so many times that I wish we could talk because it would be great to have your opinion, your insight, your knowledge, your fatherly advice or just one more “never give up”. Situations have come and gone and I have made it without you just like you told me. Making it without you was never a question, you raised me well enough for me to make it but, that doesn’t change having you here.

I wish so much for you to be here but I know that can’t happen. I live with the memories and the reminders of the person you were. I live with people telling me that they miss you and how great of a man you were. I live with the wonder if you were still here, how would it be? How would life be different? I think about this for a moment and then snap back to reality because you always said not to live in what if’s.

Through the good times and the bad we were together, from my day one till your last day. Our bond was strong, even when we were fighting. I’ll never forget the things you said and the lessons you taught me, or more importantly, the lessons that you let me teach myself. I wouldn’t be the person that I am today without a dad like you. I wouldn’t be able to speak sarcasm fluently. I wouldn’t be able to make a joke out of any situation. I wouldn’t be able to be happy when things are going bad. I wouldn’t be able to communicate with nearly anybody, just because. And I wouldn’t be able to be where I am today.

Thank you for being the man and father that you were. Thank you for giving me the “McIntosh good looks” and humor. Thank you for being such a good friend to others that I know it looks like when people truly care about you. Even more, thank you for being a friend and father to me.


Until the next time we speak…




3 years.

People will often ask me if today is hard for me, and my answer is always the same – it’s just another day. Today was just the final day in a long series of days that played out over those three years. That’s what today marks, it marks three years since you slowly faded away, slowly closed your eyes for the last time to never open them again. Never to let out that bellowing laugh, or give that infectious smile, or just make a funny comment. That’s the only thing today marks.

March 1st was a date that you fought for, a day that you were determined to get. You always taught me to be goal oriented and the fact that even in your dying days you were still trying to reach a goal speaks volumes about who you were. I’m not sure if there is anything left for me to say about you that hasn’t already been said and everyday a new person, with a new story, lets me know something great about you. So luckily, I’m still getting new pieces of you.

I’ll never escape you, I don’t want to, and I mean that in the best way possible. Someone will always tell me about you; something will always remind me of you, whether it be a smell, or a day, or something as simple as a picture sitting in mom’s house. You are always around and I wouldn’t have it any other way. The memory of you is all I’m going to have from here on out so I never want to lose that, I never want to forget and how could I forget? I remember the weirdest things.

It’s amazing how short three years can seem all while seeming so long. The weeks seem to grow longer but also get fairly shorter. Maybe it’s just the fact that it’s winter and the sun goes down far too early. Or maybe, that’s what happens when you get “old”?

There is a lot to catch you up on but I don’t think I’ll have enough space on this screen to do that. The Caps are good, like, really good(excuse me while I go knock on every piece of wood I can find), the Skins made the playoffs, Kirk Cousins was the quarterback. Don’t worry, I still have your RG3 jersey hanging in my closet. The Wizards… No comment. The Nationals, who the hell knows?

Your voice keeps escaping my mind and that’s the one thing I don’t want. Luckily I still have the last voicemail you ever left me still on my phone. It doesn’t sound like you used to but it was you at the time – and that’s going to be good enough for me. It has to be good enough for me.

At times when I think about everything we have been through I smile the biggest smile because it was truly a journey with my best friend. All the games and practices; all the laughter and arguments; all the times you told me not to do stupid things; all the times I did stupid things; and all the times you were right there to say “I told you not to do stupid things! But I still love ya buddy”.

I never could’ve imagined living my life without you and I’m glad I had you for those 24 years and 364 days because if it wasn’t for you then I wouldn’t be who I am today. You taught me to be too many things to list. As I have said before, the saying “you are just like your dad” will never get old to me, because being half the man you were is something I hope to be.

Love ya Pops, I miss you everyday and I will never forget any of the lessons you instilled in my mind. There is so much that I wish you were here for mainly just so I could talk to you about everything that is going on but that’s just not possible and that’s ok. Just because you’re not here doesn’t mean that I’ll forget who you are and what you mean to me. It just means that I’ll have to work extra hard to be the person you taught me to be. Three years seems like a long time ago, but it was only a moment ago.








Well Dad, its been two years today, and I probably miss you more now then I did a year ago. I guess the realization finally started to set in. There are many memories I have of your final year, they play like a flip book in my head, just quick flashes of images, some of the memories are good and some are bad, but they are memories nonetheless.

People always say that you learn from your parents growing up, and while that may be true, no one ever tells you when the growing up stops. That’s because it never stops. You are always growing up. There are so many things that I wish you were here to tell me or help me through, things that only you could talk to me about. To be here to tell me “don’t do what I did”. I wish you were here to tell me those things. Here to tell me “Alright, learn from it”, I guess technically you do tell me those things, but they are just in my head.

I don’t know how I feel about my spirituality or even if I understand it at all but for a while people close to you would tell me that they thought you would send them signs. Whether it was a Bob Marley song randomly playing on Rolling Stones Pandora station(I know that’s crazy right? Who uses Pandora instead of Spotify anymore?), or just hearing your voice in a dream. All these people had it — except me. I don’t know why it never happened that first year, maybe I didn’t believe it could happen, or maybe that was your choice. Like I said, I don’t know what I believe or what may or may not be true in the spiritual sense but I do know that I’ve heard your voice. We’ve had those conversations that seem too real and vivid that when I wake up I’m shocked to find out they were just dreams. It took a while, but I’m glad I finally got that feeling.

One day someone asked me “Do you miss your father Chris?”, my answer was a casual “On occasion” — I may have made up my own definition for occasion because when I used it in that reply I really meant “All the time”. I really can’t put into words how much I miss you and what you really meant to me. You were my rock. You were the guy that was going to tell me when I did dumb stuff but love me unconditionally even after I did it. You were the guy that seemed so tough and so invincible that nothing terrible could ever happen to you — and when it did, no one knew it. I guess that’s where we are so alike, no one will ever know what’s going on because our expression and attitude never changes.

I have a memory of being with you at chemo, near the end of everything. You had become skinny, your face was sunken in, your eyes blood-shot, and skin a different color than normal. You had this look on your face, a look I had never seen before. I don’t know what it was, you were just staring out the window, just staring into space. I just watched you for a little bit contemplating what you were thinking about or if you were thinking about anything. I sat and thought to myself this isn’t my Dad. Finally, you snapped out of it and said “Alright buddy, let’s go”, then I realized, yes it was my Dad. That was the last time I ever thought that, because no matter what you looked like or how terrible you felt or how your voice changed, you were still him. Your shell may have changed but the person you were didn’t. You still cracked joke after joke and had that infections smile that could make anyone else smile. You were there underneath it all. You were there.

I miss you with every fiber of my being and love you more than words can express. And Dad, when you get a chance, pay me a visit, we have some things we need to catch up on.

Love, Chris

James Alexander McIntosh III “Jimbo”

May 8, 1946-March 1, 2013

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When I started playing golf, I didn’t get it. It was boring and I couldn’t comprehend the allure of the game. I was 6 or 7 and I was down in Florida visiting my grandpa, or as I called him, “Pop Pop”. He was a great golfer and lived on a golf course. What do you do with your child and grandchild in Florida other than take them to Disney world? I guess taking me to the driving range was the answer they came up with. For most of my life I would only play or practice when I was visiting. Sometimes I would go to the range with my dad; I’d finish my 50 balls in less than 3 minutes without caring where the ball was actually hit. I would then spend the rest of the time sitting on a bench behind the range just watching; watching these men swing and swing and swing, and curse and curse and curse, showing every bit of emotion with every horrible shot. I didn’t get it. I just couldn’t understand it. Why is this fun?

I played every sport you could think of unless you are thinking of things like cricket or curling. My number one sport was baseball. Golf was never a thought in my mind. We had a rule in my house and that was no golf during baseball season. This rule was not hard to follow, it was my rule. The swings for both sports may seem similar, however something about swinging a golf club during baseball season turned my baseball swing into a mess. I played baseball up until my freshman year of college and stopped because I thought I had to.

You know when people tell you, “You won’t understand till you’re older?” Do you know that one? It was true for me in golf. I eventually got it, and maybe the only reason I got it is because I needed it. I was desperately trying to fill the void that not playing baseball had left. Golf was just right there at my fingertips. Most of you know my back-story – If you check back on my recent posts you can reread it, but I will hit the bullet points necessary for this post:

  • I turned pro a couple months after my Dad got his diagnoses.
  • I turned pro far before I was ready but something made me do it.
  • I played on and off professionally for 3 years.
  • A couple months before my Dad died I made the decision to finally go all in when he was gone. No work, just golf tournaments.

In August I finally started my golf journey. The first tournament was rough, terrible in fact. I missed the cut. The second tournament was better, but not good by any means and resulted in another missed cut. This was pretty much the trend throughout the 3 months to follow. At times I wouldn’t want to play for days. My confidence was shot and the money was running out, but every time I stepped on that first tee of a tournament I knew that it was where I was supposed to be. I finally got a new coach and started re-working my swing. It was great, the changes we had made were paying off and I was set to get back out there and compete.

Here is the deal with golf — you need backing to play. You need sponsors or investors because it is expensive and essentially you are a gamble. You are betting on yourself to be better than everyone else. It’s a risky investment. I had a team of people that were on this hunt for me. I had 2 contracts before. One was an apparel deal with Oakley and the other was a club deal with Adams Golf.  Neither one of those contracts was renewed after August. Nevertheless, I was feeling good. My swing was feeling good and my game was getting back to its original form. I was approached about playing in Asia on the One Asia Tour. I didn’t hesitate, I just wanted to play golf and if I got to see parts of the world while doing so, then I was taking it. I had sponsors in-line for this. It was all happening. All I had to do was head out to California and play in a Q-School (Qualifying event) and I was golden.

I flew out to LA, leaving behind a cold and snowy DC. I arrived 5 days prior to the tournament to get acclimated to the West Coast. Then it was tournament time and I was ready. I showed up to my tee time on the first day and my caddie was nowhere to be found. I carried my bag up and down this mountain-of-a golf course for the first nine holes.  Luckily I had carried my bag a ton of times before and I did a good job of staying focused and not letting it get to me. My caddie eventually showed up on the tenth hole and turned out to be one hell of a guy.

After 4 days and 4 rounds, I didn’t perform to my ability. I was by myself across the country for 9 days and the only time I truly felt alone was standing on the 18th green on the final day, knowing that I may have screwed this up. I stood there and wondered, “What was wrong with me?”

To answer your question – my putter went cold. I hit the ball well, but I couldn’t read a green or judge a speed to save my life, and that’s exactly what I thought was on the line; my life. That might be a tad dramatic, but it kind of was. I had invested all that I had in this. I trained and trained for the race and a quarter mile into it I pulled up lame.

I returned home and waited for the people in the know to tell me when I was leaving for the One Asia tour. I got an email from my agent informing me that all sponsorships were now gone citing my poor performance. My feeling was unexplainable. I wasn’t sad; I felt that this is what I deserved for performing so poorly. Here I was sitting in my room, in a house that I could no longer afford, reading this email thinking that I was a complete failure. When it’s cold and snowing it only makes your sense of nothing-less more apparent. Sitting in a house all day, better yet sitting in one you can’t afford to live in anymore, makes you feel like you have nothing left.

After not picking up a club for a couple weeks and looking for answers on what to do, I went out to meet some of my friends at a bar.  Amongst all the joking, I was asked when I was leaving.  I told them what happened at Q-School. One of my friends said something to me that I will never forget. He said “just promise me you won’t give up. You’re the only one of us with a dream. Look at us, we don’t have dreams. Just don’t give up.” In between the drunkenness and the joking, here was the kid who made milk come out of my nose in the 1st grade asking me not to quit. Having him say that meant more to me than I think he will ever know. I’m flat broke, doing odd jobs for money, planning on moving home and then he hits me with this. It was truly just one of those “ah ha!” moments.

I’m honest about my failures. When you’ve been to summer school twice you kind of have to fess up to the fact that you’ve screwed up. But the difference here was that I thought my failure was making the choice to travel down this uncertain path. No, that wasn’t the failure. That actually wasn’t a failure at all. Nothing about this has been a failure; it’s been exactly what it’s needed to be – a road with bumps, curves and street signs throwing me off my GPS’ preferred route.

It’s been missing 3 footers for par.

It’s been making 50 footers for eagle.

It’s been to the edge of broke, traveling on my last dime trying to figure out where the next check will come from.

It’s knowing that there are a ton of guys who would trade with you, even if just for a day.

It’s been that feeling of sickness on that first tee when you step up to hit your drive.

It’s been being reassured that behind all the beer and mixed drinks that your friends actually do care.

It’s been driving 5 hours home after every missed cut wanting to break down because you’ve put so much in.

It’s been flying across the country only to get recognized on the first tee. “Hey you’re from DC, right?”

It’s remembering something that you’ve known all along; that your mom will support you no matter how many cuts you miss and how many stupid things you say.

It’s been wishing he was here to tell you it’s “ok, relax” while giving you that big hug.

But most of all…

It’s been that one perfect swing. That one perfect shot that feels so good it reminds you the joy in the game you love to play. And that… makes you come back for more.

So I have this to say to all of you who have supported me throughout all of this.

I’m not going to give up. This is something that I will continue to chase as long as the chase can last.

Thank you for everything.


I remember

I remember,

I remember you,

I remember us going to the beach when I was little,

I remember anytime I had a game, you were there,

I remember each time you told me to keep my head down and to keep it up,

I remember every Bob Marley song,

I remember all the jokes,

I remember trying to forget,

I remember everything important you said,

I remember everything unimportant you said,

I remember the fights,

I remember the good and bad,

I remember those three years blurred into one,

I remember you always saying “it was fine”,

I remember 1 year ago today,

I remember saying goodbye for the last time,

I remember.

Just kidding

I want to tell people what you said to me that night in your hospital room but, I figure you waited for everyone else to leave for a reason. That was one of the few times I wanted to cry through all of this and it was the only time I can remember wanting to break down. It was something we were both thinking and feeling but, neither of us wanted to say then, you said it. I couldn’t respond, I was stuck in what I was feeling because I had never heard you speak like that before. If I was the one in that hospital bed instead of you, I would’ve said the same thing.

I wish I knew how to respond to what you said, instead I sat, quiet, my eyes welling up, wanting to break the silence so I didn’t break down. I didn’t want you to know I was feeling the same way. I wanted you to think everything was ok in my mind but, I was stupid for that, you knew, you always knew. You were one of the few people who could read me no matter what my face was implying. We sat there alone but together for five minutes. It’s weird how five minutes can feel like five hours or five years. We were silent for most of those five minutes until you broke the silence. “Just kidding” you said. For once I didn’t laugh I just said “I know”.

I might tell people one day but for now I think it’s best if it stays between us. Something that I can call ours for now. I feel like I’ve had to share you with many people recently that I’m glad I can call this my own part of you. These were not the last words that you spoke to me but these were the words that struck me the most because I knew, I knew you weren’t kidding. I knew for once in our lives we weren’t trying to joke. For once it wasn’t about the laughter. It was about the truth.

I don’t want to keep writing these and frankly I hate that I can’t write anything but this. This is the only thing that isn’t forced when I sit down to work, I look around and my fingers go wild on the keyboard and, before I know it I have another sad group of words that even I don’t want to read. I’m not sad, I’m not happy, I’m just content, I’m really just here. This is not a choice of mine this is just how I am right now. This seems to be all I have at the moment. It will have to do.

I wonder what life would be like if none of this happened 3 years ago. Just kidding. I know you know that’s not true.


I remember what I felt 7 months ago when I watched you take that last breath. I remember being told it was ok to cry and ok to be sad. I didn’t cry. I didn’t want too. It wasn’t time for that emotion to come out. Why did you leave me? You leaving could’ve only caused me to make rash decisions about life, about time. I have questions, I want answers. You were always there to help me find the answers, you never gave them to me, you made me figure it out on my own. If I did it on my own all those times why is it so different now? I can go almost 5 minutes without thinking about you or something you said. One day 5 mins will be 10 minutes and 10 minutes, one hour but, will I ever not think about you? Will this bourdon that I didn’t accomplish anything while you were alive ever go away? Or is this what keeps pushing me to strive for more? I always want more. You taught me to always get better because there is someone else who is always going to be better. It’s the truth.

Did I ever tell you I was sorry?  I’m sorry for all of this.  I’m sorry that I couldn’t help.  I’m sorry I never accomplished anything?  But, can you answer this?  Did you leave because you knew that I was going too?  Did you think that me leaving meant I didn’t want you here anymore?  Did you think that I was giving up?  I wasn’t.  Did I give you that feeling?  If I did, thats another thing I’m sorry for.  You know I’m not big on apologizing.  You deserve these apologies.  You deserve more than these letters.  You deserve to not be gone.

I don’t know when this will end, or if it will ever end.  Will I get back to normal?  Is this normal now?  Will I eventually be able to go through one day, one hour, one minute, without getting that feeling.  That feeling that you’re right there but just when I go to turn around, you’re not there.  Were you there?  Or is this just my imagination?

I’m mad at you for leaving even though I know it’s not your fault.  You had no choice in the matter.

You left me.  I prepared myself for it.  I knew you were going to, but I didn’t want to believe you would.  I was ready for it.  Does that make me a bad person?  Does it make me a bad person that I’m mad that you left me here, left me here to answer all these questions that I don’t know the answers to?  Left me here to fix all the problems that I knew were problems but avoided fixing?  Was/am I the problem?  Is this my fault?  None of this is your fault.

I’m sick of answering these questions.  How are you?  How are you doing? blah blah blah.  I can’t blame people for asking but it is all repetitive and mundane.  I get asked to solve everyone else’s problems.  Everyone who is dealing with you leaving.  Every mess that was left behind.  You didn’t leave these messes behind, I know this, but everyone expected you to help clean them up.  Now it’s me.  You left me with the responsibility and fuck, you know I hate responsibility.  I was ready for it.  I won’t run away from it, but I want too.  I want to leave.  I wanted to leave right after you left.  I wanted to go far, far away.  Not for good but just for a little.  I needed to get away and get out so I wouldn’t have to deal with all the shit I’m dealing with now. But. I couldn’t leave mom. You told me to take care of her. None of this is your fault.

No one will ever know what I’m feeling inside because my outside appearance will never change.  This is truly a gift that I have.  Thanks.  You had this gift too.  I’m just going to assume I got it from you.  There have been days that I’ve just wanted to say “fuck this” and pick up and go.  Hell, there have been days where I have said that and ended up in the same place. At home, wondering how I got there and why I’m still there.

But for all this shit that has been left behind, I consider myself lucky.  I consider myself lucky that everyday I’m reminded what a great person you were, how funny you were, and how we were. The saying will never get old, “You are your father’s son”. You’re damn right I am.