A sauna at his health club
We were back to Buffalo, NY and I found myself at his health club a couple days after his funeral. I had been to the Aquatic & Fitness Center a few times before. My Dad loved the facility and especially the sauna. He’d tell me about his sauna sessions and how he enjoyed chatting with other folks during his sauna rounds.
Yea, it’s a health club sauna “Absolutely no spitting water or water on the sauna rocks at any time”. Yet after the few days I had, it sure felt nice to experience some sauna therapy, with or without Loyly. After round one, I slipped out the pool patio door for cool down. The day was blustery, 40 mph winds, and there had been snow flurries in the air. As I stood on the patio outside, I felt the stares of people sitting warmly in the hot tub inside as well as the ice cold wind chilling me down.
Round two started with a few others, but I soon found myself alone in the sauna. We all know that sauna is a spiritual experience, and though this may sound hokey, I started to hear my father’s voice within all this silence. I heard him clearly, right there within these same cedar walls:
“ah, this feels nice, but my son has a sauna on an island in Northern Minnesota. It’s wood burning and…..”He took great pride in my saunas.
I thought about him and I taking a sauna, how he’d be more of a “low bench Larry” and he’d screech like a child with any amount of cold water on his body. I tried to teach him about the “rubber band theory” of temperature extremes.
But he liked sauna well enough. And this was good enough for me.
It was a spiritual sauna that day. Alone, hearing his voice. Round three: instead of sitting quiet in the sauna, I turned to the guy sitting in the opposite corner, and what came out of my mouth was just what my Dad would ask: “So, think the Sabres can pull it off tonight?”