By most accounts, I can be sentimental, but not too overt. I can be described as an Objectivist, not religious, and an avowed political atheist. I need numbers, empirical proof and all of that.
Thing is, I saw that commercial on MLB Network today. You know the one. Cute kids riding on Dad's shoulders, sentimental music obvious in the foreground. I got choked up.
Last time I took Mom and Dad to a game, I thought it to be a logistical nightmare. They were in a terrible crash the previous Christmas and were dealing with various and sundry residual ailments. Slow to walk The steps leading from the parking garage to the main concourse. I was annoyed. They hated our seats, it was hot. The Red Sox were mercilessly bludgeoning Homer Bailey, and it wasn't a great time. I swore I'd never take them to another game.
Fast forward to this afternoon. Pop has been in a dizzy funk for the last eight months or so. Numerous tests were done, and an MRI found some suspicious abnormalities. Lots of them. The oncologist is flummoxed. This guy is trained to find cancers and either destroy them, or at least alleviate symptoms to make the transition to the hereafter a bit more palatable. I honestly don't know whether I should be happy that he couldn't diagnose the dreaded disease today, or if I should be ever more fearful of what tomorrow's cat scan will reveal.
See... Cancers in the brain almost never begin there in middle aged folks. He has shown no signs of lung cancer, he's had a colonoscopy recently. He doesn't feel sick. He feels drunk, and it's not getting worse. It seems like it's getting better. We aren't out of the woods, but we've still got a compass.
Point is... Baseball is my sanctuary. It's easy to forget that. It's easy to take it for granted. This is not that kind of game, though. This is a thread that binds families (especially one as small as ours). Mom, narrowly missed being hit by a scorching Adam Dunn homer in 2006 out in the Sun Deck. Me, sheepishly standing next to Tom Lawless on picture day, glove in hand, one sock higher than the other. Dad, rushing home to tell me he just wrote Paul Oniell's dad's homeowners policy, and how can I forget him for plopping down those two tickets to Game Two. He couldn't go, but he was fine with me and my best friend driving down to that World Series game by ourselves at age 16.
I don't know how this ends. I'm glad for that. I guess I will know more in the coming days, but I do know that the doc agrees that whatever this is, it isn't particularly aggressive. I have time, and I will drag those two whiners to another ballgame, or six. We need it.
Point is, it's easy to take it for granted. But we all know we shouldn't.