I think I am finally starting to realize what the important things in life are. It’s not falling in love, or visiting exotic places, or winning large sums of money. The important things, the good stuff, if you will, are the little moments that stay with you the rest of your life.
I had one of those moments last night. I won a couple of Red Sox tickets from the 99 Restaurant and invited my Dad, who has been a die-hard Red Sox fan for as long as I have been around, to go with me. He spent the next couple of weeks being excited about it. Not being a sports fan, I was just happy to be going somewhere with my Dad. I hadn’t really done anything exclusively with him since going to Disney when my daughter Rachel was 14.
It’s Tuesday, August 14th, 2007. Game Day! I get out of work early, as Dad is a little worried we won’t get there in time for the start of the game. We drove to Wellington station and rode the train into Ruggles station. I think this is the first time riding the subway with Dad since I was a kid. We talked all the way down. It took awhile, but finally, we figured out how to buy Charlie passes for the subway with the help of someone else. Got to Ruggles, waited awhile for the shuttle to take us to Fenway. Anticipation…………………
We joined the bustling, happy crowd at Fenway Park. There was no rudeness or roughhousing. The smells of many different kinds of food wafted through the air. We had chicken tenders and French fries before going in to find our seats. Finally, we are there! Our seats were in the bleachers, 45 rows up. That meant a minimum of 45 stairs Dad had to climb. He climbed them like a trooper, never complaining, taking his time and trying so hard to stay out of everyone’s way. By the time we got to our row, he was bending over to hold onto the backs of the seats to help get up every stair. We got to our seats, determined to stay put for the entire game.
It was a very boring game. I started to worry that there wouldn’t be much of a memory for the two of us, except for the being together part. I wanted so badly for it to be exciting. There were very few hits. The Tampa Bay Devil Rays got one run early in the game. The Red Sox had not managed to score even a single run by the top of the 9th inning. It was their time at bat. Ramirez struck out. Mike Lowell comes to bat and hits a home run! The crowd was screaming!! My Dad is now ecstatic. I am thinking we might get into extra innings and be here all night. What have I got myself in for? What time would we get home?
Then Youkilis comes to bat, he strikes out. 2 outs! I started to mentally prepare myself for a longer night. Next at bat was Jason Varitek. He doubles. Could there be hope? Coco Crisp is next. He has 3 balls, 2 strikes. This is not a good thing. He hits a single, and Varitek comes home. They won! They won! OMG, the RED SOX WON!
Dad, by this time was already on his feet, despite how much his knees were hurting him. We are jumping up and down, hugging each other, screaming “THEY WON!!!” What an awesome game. We are both on cloud 9 the whole ride home. I no longer cared what time I got home, I doubted I would sleep anyhow.
I dropped Dad at the house. He thanked me again for taking him. He said again what a wonderful time he had. He said he loved me. I said “I love you too, Dad”.I got to my house in Pelham at about 12:30 and slept like a baby.