Thursday, March 15, 2007

See you on the otherside

The services for my left fielder were last Friday. The priest conducted the service in a kind and compassionate fashion. I really wasn't sure what to expect. The team has a large Catholic bloc. The term mortal sin was kicked about.

LF left behind three children, one wife, a girlfriend and at least two hundred friends. I like most of the team, was unaware of the wife. We were given the impression that the wife was an ex. He lived with the girlfriend for years and never bothered to get a divorce. Just stating the facts not judging the situation. The wife and the girlfriend worked together to send him on his way.

His employer started a fund for the children. Financially they will be fine. How will they be emotionally?

This was one of the saddest services that I sat through. Maybe because he was so young. Maybe because there were two rooms filled with people who gave a shit about LF. Maybe because we didn't see it coming. Worse, maybe we did.

The team and the girlfriend gathered at the local pub. Historically, we have huddled here to rehash games. The dirty uniforms and muddy cleats were replaced with designer suits and polished shoes. The banter about blown plays and calls turned to chatter about another blown opportunity. He was only 36 was a common refrain.

His anger at the two women closest to him was captured in individual fuck you letters. Clearly, his anger with himself surpassed his anger with them.

Opening Day is April 15, I have a feeling his presence will be in the dugout. I hope he finds peace. I hope we find peace.

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