Friday, September 30, 2005

What the Red Sox Mean to Me

The Red Sox mean I am lying on my grandmother’s bed, and I am only six. I am breathing in the smell of popcorn, too heavy with butter and salt, and watching the glowing screen on the dresser. She wears her concern well, and occasionally lets loose with a barrage of curses. She has been passionate this way since she was a child, and some would see a Hyde where Jekyll was all they had known. Her father was with her when she was watching the Red Sox game. You see, because of the Red Sox, my grandmother had never grown up like the rest of us had to.

The Red Sox mean I am with my family. They mean that those that I hold dearer than myself are present, in body or spirit. What looks to you like a large green wall is a family story that dates back long before I was born.

The Red Sox mean that it is okay to swear, no matter how old you are.

The Red Sox mean that we all fail. We all can try our hardest, and fail, and it is still okay. We can push as hard as we are able, and still not make it, but our friends and family will still be there to catch us and cheer us on the next time.

The Red Sox mean perseverance. After trying so hard, and failing for so long, and wishing for so long, we can succeed; when we do our celebration will be epic. That celebration will always come.

The Red Sox mean I am home. Even when I am five thousand miles away, I am still home. I can still feel my mother’s arms around me, holding me tight in anticipation as that pitch is thrown. I can see my grandmother’s tears. I can see her father in them, even though we never met.
For me, the Red Sox mean 178 Villa Street. I am transported to that home I grew up in whenever I watch the Red Sox, whether I am in Germany or Arizona.

The Red Sox mean mortality. Those that are gone are still here. Their graves are empty. They roam between us, watching and waiting. They are felt around us as we are cheering – or cursing. Those that have left are still felt when we watch. The mere watching resurrects them; I can recall the feeling of my grandfather in the house. I can recall the dark basement, lit only by the television and my family’s pulses. Those I watch the Red Sox with now, and those that watch with me, will live forever in my soul each time I watch the Red Sox. I will live in that as well, and someday, long after I die, I will sit with my son and grandchildren, and watch on as they watch the Red Sox play.

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