What is your most treasured memory?
I’m not a huge sports fanatic by any stretch of the imagination. But my most treasured memory has a lot to do with baseball. During the summer after my junior year of college, I had the opportunity to take my Dad on a whirlwind adventure that allowed us to travel up the east coast to attend five Major League Baseball games in five days.
From about 1997 on, Dad’s health wasn’t the best and, really, was slowly deteriorating over time. But he was a trooper. He went on this trip to get the chance to hang out with me. It wasn’t just the two of us, though. The whole thing was organized by the Residence Hall Director of my dorm at Bluefield College, Ben. He and his wife Julie had planned the trip and originally intended for my then roommate to go with them. But something came up and he wasn’t able to go. It wasn’t an expensive trip (we got the cheapest seats at each park and stayed with friends along the way), so Dad and I signed up, figuring that this was a once in a lifetime sort of deal.
Like I said, Dad was a trooper. It didn’t matter that we were stuck in the back seat of a car with two people he only met the day we left on the trip. It didn’t matter that he had a difficult time keeping up as we walked through the streets of New York. It didn’t matter that we slept on a kitchen floor for four nights in Bayonne. We had a blast.
Day one was spent driving to Baltimore to catch the Orioles at home. Then we continued to New Jersey where we stayed with a couple of fellow Bluefield survivors. On day two, we headed into New York City to catch a Mets game. On day three, we went to the top of the Empire State Building, then watched the Yankees play a night game. On day four, we drove up to Boston to catch the Red Sox as they played Tampa. On day five, we got up early and stopped in Philadelphia to see the Phillies play on the way back to Virginia. It was a crazy busy week. And it was one I’ll never forget.For me, that trip wasn’t so much about the baseball games. I mean, I like baseball and all, but it was more about getting to spend time with my Dad. You never know how long you have with the people you love. At that point, I didn’t know that he would only be in my life for another five years. But, really, I was never even promised that much. Since then, I’ve added “see a game at every Major League ballpark” to my bucket list. Sure would have been nice to cross that one off with him by my side.
*The Question of the Week can be found in The Book of Questions by Gregory Stock, Ph.D.