Thursday, July 22, 2010

Rakes. And Mr. Andy.

What started out as a post about me taking the kids to the local Minor League Burlington Royals game tonight where I think I saw a TOTAL of 1 inning worth of action due to bathroom trips, food trips, Snow Cone trips, and in one really weird moment where Trot met the mascot Bingo face to face and he petted him like a cat, then hugged him like some long lost relative (that's Bingo dancing on top of the dugout while Trot is mesmerized) took a HUGE left turn when Ang told me what happened this afternoon.

Since I was at work, they were meeting me at the ball park and in the midst of getting 3 kids ready, fed, and trying her best not to lose her mind, Rakes wandered up and the following conversation took place.

Rakes: "Mom, Mr. Andy is gonna be there, right?"

Ang: "I don't think so, Rakes". (I still haven't figured out how to tell him Andy passed away. I know I should have, but whenever I think about it, I start to lose it and I just can't bring myself to tell him yet. When I say he loved Andy, I mean he REALLY loved Andy. After every game we saw together it's pretty much all I heard about for weeks. If you've got children and you have any suggestions on how to do this, I'm not too proud to admit I'd welcome some help.)

Rakes: "You mean we don't get to wear the mustaches and look all funny?"

Ang: "Not this time, buddy."

At first, this made me really sad. But the more I thought about it the more I realized it was just another example of how the game of baseball, more so than any other sport, has this really special way of bringing people who normally may not have ever crossed paths together.

Because of baseball, and more specifically the Red Sox, I became friends with a really great guy. And because WE became friends, my son got to meet this person and HE got to be his friend, even if it was only for just a short time.

And because of THAT, once I figure out how to let him know Andy won't be coming, every time I take Rakes to a baseball game he'll associate that with Andy and he and I will be able to talk and remember our friend.

So on a hot, humid night in North Carolina Rakes and Andy got to enjoy another game of baseball.

Even if it was just in spirit.


alexis_RSN_South said...

I'm not sure exactly how one would let a child know that, but let me tell you something from my own life.

My dad's father passed away several years before I was born, so I never got to know him. Most of what I know about my grandfather was learned at the ballpark with my dad, telling me stories about when his father took him to games at Ebbetts field when he was a boy.

To this day, I always have to have roasted peanuts when I go to a ballgame because it's what he and his dad always ate when they went to games.Baseball is a fantastic way to connect you to family and friends, even if they aren't around anymore.

Ted D said...

Alexis, that is exactly what I was trying, in my own idiotic manner, to say. From now on, Rakes will associate going to a game with Andy, which will always keep Andy fresh in his mind, and if you knew Andy being remembered with the game of baseball is perfect.

fla beck said...

Beautiful post,Ted. Its getting dusty in here.

Stacy said...

I wish I had met Andy. Anyone Rakes loves that much had to be pretty special. :)

PS - No idea how to tell him. Makes me sad just to think about it.

Ted D said...

Thanks, Becky. And Stacy, I really wish I knew how to tell him. Reckon I'll figure it out somehow.

Tree Newt said...

Great post bro. And I know how you feel. It was rough telling Caroline when Aunt Faye passed away, and it still is. But whenever you decide to do it, you hit the nail on the head tonight: even though they're gone, we can still remember. That's the gift. He'll always associate the game with real life.

Trot's Hat said...

There is something magical about knowing that people who meant something will never be farther away than your memory can reach. Thanks for that reminder, Ted.
I wish I could think of some sage advice, but when I was that young, it was a comfort to know that people I loved and lost were always watching and always taking care of me.

Ted D said...

Bridget and Matt, both your comments really helped. Maybe I can use both of you when I tell him, which I'm going to just as soon as I figure out how.