Monday, September 13, 2010

Obituaries and baseball: Be sure to do what you love

There was a moment during my Grandmother’s memorial service where I made a very audible sobbing sound and gasped for air. I was trying to share something that I had written to my Grandmother when she was alive. The grandchildren’s written words were her Christmas gift one year. Of course, my sister Alice had kept a copy of this tribute to our Grandmother. Alice is super organized.  I needed to keep it together so I choked back the sob, which caused me to make  a high pitched squealing sound, sighed deeply and finished my reading. Seth told me that I should just let it out if that was what I was feeling but I didn’t want to lose it in a room full of people. My Grandmother passed away on March 25, 2009. I miss her.

This weekend I attended a memorial service for a friend from college. We were not great friends but she was a good person and we had a lot in common. We served on our college’s booster club board of directors together and we were both lawyers.  There were several points during the service where I wanted the service to end. I just couldn’t take the sadness anymore. Some people may find the tributes and slide show of photos cathartic. I looked out the window to keep it together. I don’t like to hurt that much. I’m the kind of person who likes to feel unpleasant things quickly, if at all, and then move on.

I’ve pretty much mailed in my last couple of blog posts (although you absolutely should read David Foster Wallace). I haven’t felt a lot like writing. I could blame it on a heavy heart or getting shut out by the Cubs in back-to-back games. The season is pretty much over. The games are pretty meaningless. It would be easy to say that compared to death, the games don’t really seem all that important. But that’s not true at all. Death makes these games even more important because baseball is something that I love—and doing what I love, now, while I am alive is the most important thing that I could do. I hope that when I die my obituary says: “Rachel loved watching the Milwaukee Brewers, even though she sometimes threw things at the TV when they failed to score a runner from third with less than two outs.”

Sometimes it is important to remember why I watch the games and why I write about them.

The Brewers finally scored a run against the Cubs on Sunday, and it came in a familiar way—Yovani Gallardo.  (Top notch analysis of Gallardo’s hitting here and here.) Gallardo doubled to center field to lead off the fifth inning and eventually scored when Ryan Braun blooped in a double to right field with two out. Casey McGehee added an insurance run with a solo shot in the eighth inning. Gallardo pitched pretty well, too. He went seven innings and gave up just four hits and no runs. John Axford got the final four outs to collect his 21st save.

Brewers 2, Cubs 0
Game played 9-13-10

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