Old Memories Made New
My dad passed away a year ago last Christmas. The holidays were a bittersweet time without him. As 2013 chugged along and life got back to the day-to-day grind, my sister received a message from a man I remember meeting at my dad’s funeral. He passed us his card, told us he’d umpired baseball with my dad for years, and said he wanted to share some things with us later.
Obviously, later meant much later. This past week, my mom, sister, and I went to a meeting of the umpire association where my dad worked and volunteered for many years before his “retirement” from baseball several years ago. The things he wanted to share were touching personal stories about how my dad had met and influenced a whole group of men the three of us had never seen before.
Of course we knew he umpired. My dad was a baseball fanatic, a true lover of the game. He played for many years as a young man, coached my sister and I in softball, graduated to men’s softball as he aged, and then returned to his true love playing in men’s leagues. He retired his glove after several seasons in the men’s senior league. What’s a grown man to do when he hangs up his uniform for the last time? Fortunately for my dad, he discovered what my family believes was his true calling: umpiring.
At this meeting, several men told funny stories about my dad during his umpiring days and they named an award after him and presented that award to three recipients during the meeting. My mom, sister, and I left feeling like these special people who took the time to share their memories had given us a gift. Even for my mom, it was like seeing a side of him we never knew.
Now that my son is starting his high school baseball career, I’ll take the time to really look at and appreciate the umpires who call his games. I might even thank them—if they call a good game 🙂
Has this ever happened to you? Has anyone ever shared an unexpected memory of a lost loved one? I sure hope so.