Today is the last day before I return to school. I have a lot on my mind from my trip to Florida.
I met my dad’s new girlfriend. I went down there confused. Should I like her? Whose side will I be on now? What does this mean?
Then, I said it was all bullshit.
There are no sides when you are an adult of divorced parents. I don’t go to this parents house for the weekdays and the others for the weekend. I’m an adult. I get it. I get happiness. I get doing anything to make yourself happy.
I think I need to take a note from my dad and his new lady.
My dad is happy. He is finally happy at 63 years old. How could he not be?
But for the first time in all my life, I have seen my dad happy.
Now, it’s not to say I didn’t see my dad happy at different spots in life.
I will never forget the 2004 World Series where The Boston Red Sox finally (after many years) won. The Boston Red Sox won over the St. Louis Cardinals, but it wasn’t easy. They had to defeat the Evil Empire, the damn fucking Yankees of New York.
The Sox barely made it into the championship as they were the WILD CARD pick for the American League. St. Louis had the best record in the National League. But, the Sox still had to beat the Yankees, the division clincher. The Sox had to beat The Angels BEFORE they even reached the Yankees.
That game was so disconcerting. I remember sitting in front of the TV after the Sox lost the THIRD game against the Yankees. I was 16 years old. It seemed like the boys were done. One more game, and the Yankees would go to the World Series. My dad was furious. After that third game, I learned more curse words that night than I ever had. I felt my heart break.
The night game was played at Fenway. By the 9th inning, the Yankees had a 4-3 lead over the boys and it seemed like this “curse” my father talked about was actually real. I had fallen in love with a team that would break my heart EVERY year? Had I fallen in love with a curse.
All seemed like the lick on the envelop to seal the deal when Mariano Rivera, the American League’s best relief pitcher came in to seal the save.
Then, the unthinkable happened. River allowed a lead off walk to Kevin Millar. This started a rally. A pinch-runner came in for Millar and two outs in the books, hope seemed to have been lost.
Then, the pinch-runner, Roberts, stole second, thus putting him into scoring position. With two outs and no hope with Rivera on the mound, suddenly, it was like the gate of hell drop-kicked the curse of the Bambino. This put Roberts into scoring position. The batter, Bill Mueller, singled thus allowing Roberts to score blowing Rivera’s save causing the Sox to go into extra innings.
I remember looking at my father’s face during all of this. For 50 years, he has watched the Red Sox rev your heart and blow it when it mattered most. My father told me the story about the 1986 World Series and how Buckner ruined every Sox Fan’s lives. He was the laughing stock of the baseball world and had to retire. I suddenly knew I was watching history being made. Both teams threatened with more runs in the 11th inning and remained tied until the bottom of the 12th. If the Sox weren’t going to perform now, they won’t EVER.
Manny Ramirez, the Sox left fielder, lead off with a single. But it was David Ortiz who brought hope back into the hearts of all Boston Red Sox fans with a walk-off home run.
With Ortiz, Manny, Johnny Damon, and Curt Schilling, the Sox beat the Yankees and then went on to beat the Cardinals.
That series and baseball year was one of few times I’ve seen my dad happy. That’s why I love baseball. It brings joy in times of hardship, memories to the broken hearted, and family memories in a living room filled of stuff.
Those are my memories.