Today is the home opener for the San Francisco Giants and I will watch the first few innings with my dad.
We’ll take our usual spots in his small but comfortably appointed room. I’ll sit on the black leather recliner draped with a warm chenille throw and he’ll sit at his desk eating lunch – ½ a turkey sandwich, coleslaw, diet Pepsi and handful of Lays potato chips. The big flat screen TV, which aside from his bed is the largest piece of furniture in his room, will broadcast the game loud enough to travel through the walls and down the hall. But, in assisted living nobody seems to mind or even notice.
This is a scene I could not have imagined four years ago. Throughout my entire life my dad and I never played, talked about or watched a single baseball game together until he moved to assisted living.
As a child, I chose arts and crafts over a ball and bat. I could make a mean macrame wall hanging, stamp out a pattern on a leather belt, or whip up a beautiful Spirograph pattern. But I couldn’t tell you one thing about baseball. And as adult, as most adult children are prone to do, I was too busy with my own life to pick up a shared pastime with my dad.
Then my mother passed away and everything changed. My dad moved to assisted living, and time slowed down in a good way, and my priorities were reset. I wanted to spend “quality time” with my dad, not just time shuttling him from doctor to doctor or errand to errand. I didn’t want to look back and say, “I wish I would have…”
So today we’ll watch the Giants home opener in our familiar spots and nothing could make me happier.