It's only my second day of this and already I'm stumped about what to write. Not that I will write every day, but I have been thinking about what to post next. I thought about posting a survey here to have my throngs of fans vote on which topic to write about next. But then I remembered I don't have throngs of fans.
So, I've been thinking about the two things I have already posted and how they relate to each other and decided to sit at the computer and type about it and see what happens. One is a story about Mom. The other about Dad. Where do they intersect?
Dad died in February of 1985. That summer was the first softball season he wasn't around to ask me how many home runs I was going to hit. I listened to Cardinals games every year as far back as I can remember, but that year the Cardinals games provided a distraction for me. Tommy Herr, Ozzie Smith, Jack Clark, Willie McGee and all the 1985 Cardinals made my summer. When they made it to the NLCS, no one was happier than I was.
Listening to Game 5 with Mom that October, when Ozzie came to the plate in the ninth, I announced he would hit a home run. Mom informed me that would be unlikely. First, because it was Ozzie (not exactly a home run threat) and second, because he was batting from the left. He had never hit a home run from the left. I knew that, but I didn't care...he just had to hit a home run. Yet, when he did, I couldn't believe it. Except I did. We all know what happened after that. The Cards won Game 6 and advanced to the World Series facing the Royals. Bad call. Ruth grumbled. Royals won. But, it was still a magical season. Just more magical for the Royals fans! (For the record, I don't actually attribute the Royals winning to the call.)
Fast forward to June of 1991 when I learned about Dad not being my biological father. That's a story unto itself, but I'll spare you the details. Let's just say the first time I saw Mom after that, I felt a little differently about her. Was I angry? I don't know. Probably. Disappointed? Perhaps. Mostly I just had questions. Questions I knew I couldn't ask.
Fast forward again to May of 2001 and that Mother's Day at Busch Stadium. Here was a woman who was a shell of her former self. Alzheimer's is ugly. She was in there somewhere, but not really. I had mostly reconciled my feelings about the whole paternity drama, but I still had questions. By then I knew I would never get answers, obviously. Going to that baseball game that day was a way to go back to that time when there were no questions--except, "can Ozzie Smith hit a home run from the left?"
This year, on my 40th birthday, some members of the 1985 Cardinals were in town for an exhibition softball game with the 1985 Royals. I didn't learn about it until that very day, but as soon as I did I got a ticket and went. They'd gotten older by 25 years, but for that hour or so, I was 15.