Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Cat Paws, Biceps, & Baseball

Dear John,
There's not much to say tonight. I had a slowish day at work. Right now I have a cat asleep in my lap and a dog asleep at my feet. And I will join them soon.
I'm on Day 3 of this headache. It's not as bad today as it was when it started - I'm keeping on top of it with aspirin. I do miss having you here to rub my head. The cat massages it with his front paws, but it's not the same. He doesn't have your upper body strength.
I remember when the umpiring season would start every year. You always had good arm muscles because of the lifting you did at work. But by the middle of baseball season, your right upper arm was amazing. Working the plate and calling strikes did wonderful things for your muscles. I was always so proud of you for being an umpire. It's a hard job. It's not just knowing the rule book; it's also dealing with coaches and parents and players. (oh, my) The physical demands aren't trivial, either, especially when you factor in the weather. I loved going to games and watching you work. One of my favorite photos of you is the one that Harold took when you were working the plate at a Little League game. And you taught me a lot - I look at that photo and see that you were in the perfect position to make the call.
And because you taught me a lot, I got to be official scorer for the Goshen Men's League tournaments. That was loads of fun. I got to hang out with the umpires and be one of the guys - that was always a delight. I enjoyed the umpires you worked with. And I enjoyed keeping score. Those are good memories.
I still can't watch baseball. You're too much a part of it for me. (Of course, there are a lot of Cubs fans that sometimes can't bear to watch baseball.) I'll try again in the spring. I'll be ready someday. But for now I have to wait, because there's no crying in baseball.
I'm the last one awake. It's time I joined the rest of the mammals. I miss you at bedtime - I reach over and put my hand in that dip in the mattress, and cry sometimes. I wish you were here.
Love you always,

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