Saturday, February 18, 2012

Reality hits hard and it hurts

Ahhh, life is so interesting. One minute a person can be at the top of the world and the next minute articulate "what's the point?" Yeah...that's us...But one thing that I learned in the BP grandparent household is that the measure of a person is not what one does when they win, but what they do when they lose. As someone who has lost metaphorically in a number of ways, I'll explain.

The big leftie had 'the worst week in my life' as he battled strept throat, the loss of his beloved laptop, missed the plane and games in Florida, needs surgery, and will not pitch again officially until September. When baseball is one's identity and it has been taken away, there is a period of mourning which began yesterday morning at 9 am. With labile emotions, he went through the natural ups and downs of this diagnosis.

The ups are the surgery is 99.99999999% effective. The surgeon is quite capable if not arrogant (which I like; I don't want to be friends with my surgeon...just do the work...then go and hit the golf course :-)....OK...the golf course crack was unnecessary).

The downs are that he has to live the next 8 months without the part of his personality that has defined him. He no longer can walk to the mound with his walk-out song, do his usual routine, take a deep breath and throw the ball as hard as he can...strike a few guys out, spit, and run to the dug out and high-5 the guys. Instead, he will have his arm in a sling for 4 weeks as he watches LW take his place...oh, the pain of it.

Let's go to last night's opening game in Florida...generally, we can watch the game on the computer with Game Tracker until the season officially begins, then we use the Internet and CBS Sports. However, Game Tracker was down last night which put the kid into a frenzy. He had it planned. He was going to lock himself in dad's office and watch the game since he was in his game mode. Unfortunately, game Tracker did not work and he had to resort to Twitter, which is unreliable at best. As he read the Twitter feeds, I could hear him screaming about the team losing to a second rate university. Then it "really hit the fan"....LW was sent into the game. This is the point where Buddy would have gone in to save it...instead LW was there in his place....oh boy...if there was a way that I could have quietly left the house for an errand or two, I would have done it, but the kid needed to vent and we were there for him. And so, rather than leave, I watched a weird program on television that I could not turn off (sadly) about an infestation of garter snakes on a property and the family had to declare bankruptcy and abandon the house because the only way to get rid of the snakes was to lift the house off its foundation to clear out the huge den of snakes. I am not sure why I just shared this with you, and really don't understand why I watched it, but Friday night television is pretty boring....

Back to the game....forget about the snakes...Actually, LW did quite well and only gave up one run. But the damage was done to the big kid's psyche....someone else had taken his place. And so the reality of the diagnosis finally hit. I sat with him for a moment and asked if he was 'Okay'...The response was typical...absolutely, I am going to be better than ever and beat it.

That's my boy. He's down, but not out. He sees the issue as something to be overcome and will do so, with grace and style (OK....maybe not style....perhaps not grace either). I'll be there to battle with him as he goes for a second opinion, wears the red shirt, and patiently (not a trait that he has) works through the rehabilitation.

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