Last May, when my father learned he would be moving on to hospice care, he asked his doctor one question: “I’ll be here for the World Series, right?” I’m not sure how the doctor responded, but my dad passed away in June, a month before the All Star game.
I thought of that question last night, as I watched the last few innings of Game 7, and for the first time in my life, with 2 outs in the 9th inning, I turned off the TV. For some reason, I didn’t want the game to end. Or at least I didn’t want to witness its ending.
The 2011 World Series was the last “marker” for my father; it was the final public event he had anticipated. Games and seasons have to end, of course, but when this has happened in the past, every once in a while – usually on the coldest days of winter — when we were all sloshing through slush and snow, my dad would call just to remind me that, despite the plunging temperatures, “In just 6 weeks, pitchers and catchers report! (to Florida)”
That call won’t come next February, and perhaps that’s why I didn’t want to watch the Cardinals celebrate last night. From now on, I’ll have to remind myself and my own kids that spring training is just around the corner.