The Saturday after my brother’s memorial service my grandson’s team won the North Western Regionals in Baseball. That qualified them to go to the Babe Ruth World Series in Ocala, Florida. They had played hard all year and now they were going to the World Series. As a grandma I had to go , so I ask my sister-in-law, Carol, if she would like to go with me. Her son Jefferson loves baseball and she had spent many seasons going to his games when he was young. She was on board with me to go, so we booked our flights and hotel and on August 14, 2014 my husband drove us to Sacramento and we left for Florida.
The excitement of being there was wonderful and Jared’s other grand parents were able to come also, along with Jared’s uncle. Jared’s mom and dad were unable to come because Sarah, Jared’s mom, was in the hospital. She had been to almost every game Jared had ever played and it broke her heart not to be there, but he had plenty of support and fans to cheer him on. They won their first game 11 to 1 and the possibility that they could win the World Series was almost more excitement than I could stand. The teams there were incredible and the second day they lost 9 to 6. The coach gave them a good pep talk and the next day they lost 8 to 9, but if they won the last game they still could go to the finals. Everyone was positive and we all encouraged them to do their best and that was what was important. They played hard, but lost 7 to 1. The thrill of victory and the agony of defeat was real.
The good news was our flight back home was on Saturday and we had 3 full days to play in Florida. The first day we went to Silver Springs and rented two canoes and a kayak and we canoed for two hours with the alligators (they were small) and saw many beautiful birds and fish. One of the highlights was when Jared threw a chicken nugget to see if an alligator would eat it. He grabbed it so fast Jared about had a heart attack. It was hilarious. The next day we went to Daytona Beach and enjoyed the beach and watched the sun come up over the Atlantic Ocean. It was a beautiful sunrise. We had dinner on the water and watched the lightning flash between ominous black clouds off in the distance, as we ate our dinner.The third day we played some miniature golf and headed back to Orlando to return our cars so we could go to the airport without any hassles the next morning.
It will be a trip we will remember for the rest of our lives and the opportunity to see my grandson play in the world series was awesome. Carol and I discovered we travel well together and we look forward to doing it again. It was good for us to get away, but as we returned home the void of knowing Dwayne was not going to be there to greet us was painful, but we pushed through it.
Spending time together and building relationships is what life is really all about. Without solid relationships, life is empty and lonely. Doing things together is the building block of laying that foundation. I can hardly wait to do it again.
Vickie Parker, LMFT
vickiemft.com, Online counseling