Play Ball

It’s something I never could have imagined last summer. I cried every day, sleeplessly wandered the house all night, and refused to believe that any of it had happened, refused to accept the fact that Kevin had died and he wasn’t coming back to me and our Bear. Ever.

But he’d left a gift. Tickets to a baseball game. And I went. I took our Bear, though I was doubting, afraid, sad. I took her to the baseball game because I believed that Kevin wanted me to. And it was a magical night. So we went again last summer, late in July. And that’s when it happened, I guess. That’s when Kevin’s gift kept giving. That’s when my little girl decided that this should be our tradition.

A few weeks ago, she asked me, “So, Mama, when are we going to our baseball game? Do you have the tickets yet?”

In her mind, in the midst of that awful, hard summer, we had created a tradition. We went to a baseball game in July in honor of her Daddy. And now it was time to go again. In honor of her Daddy. It’s a way for her to stay connected to him; a way to create new memories and weave them with the Daddy she loves and remembers. After all, baseball’s in her blood.

So we’re off to the city to catch a game tonight. I don’t remember who’s playing — that’s not the important part. The important part is that we’re there, feeling close to the guy we love most in this world. It’s supposed to be a gorgeous summer evening; maybe Kevin will drift in on a playful cloud and watch the game with us. My girl’s got plans to drink a Dr. Pepper and eat peanuts and play in the kids area and sing “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” with the crowd before we leave at the seventh inning stretch. We’re going to honor her Daddy and remember his love of the game, and the joy he got from sharing it with us.

Play ball.


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