As you all know, YaYa has been sick with sinusitis, pneumonia, and now tracheitis. At one point on Monday night, I seriously considered taking him to the emergency room. Thankfully, he didn’t panic as he was gasping for air. Similar to croup, the panic can intensify the spasm of this sometimes-fatal condition. He’s on a new antibiotic and it’s business as usual – as much as possible.
Baseball, however, is currently on hold. I feel bad for him and his team. Additionally, there is a twinge of guilt for acknowledging (to myself) that the reason I have not pushed for YaYa to continue with baseball in the past many years is that the sport reminds me of Tom and his death. I came to this realization a few weeks ago as I walked to the sidelines (away from the crowd) to get a few photos of the team from the outfield and remembered how Tom used to hang on the outskirts like a loner. It wasn’t that he was purposely being antisocial, although he often preferred to be alone; it was that he just wanted to watch the game. He didn’t want to talk about the kids schooling, the weather, and all of the other small talk that occurs in the bleachers. He hung out on the far reaches of the field except when BoBo was on the mound. Then he would move to the back of the backstop to watch the pitches fly towards the plate.
He was diagnosed and subsequently died in the midst of the kids’ baseball season. In the remainder of the season, following his death, it was me who lingered in the outskirts helplessly trying to regain my composure and skirt the “Where have you been? I haven’t seen you in weeks” comments.
I can’t believe it’s been 6 years now. Six years and I still feel like I’m skirting the Q&A and trying the find a new relationship with baseball – sometimes. Other times, when I give up on trying to find separation from him, I think about how he’d feel seeing us doing our thing. I look at YaYa as he steps up to the plate on the “big field” and marvel at how much he’s grown. Not only is he bigger than the little 8 year old that was afraid of falling asleep for fear he too would never wake up but he really is showing signs of becoming a man.