By: Ms. O
I have always loved the game of baseball…I feel like for as long as my memories go back. It has always been there. I love the game…particularly my Phillies….but if someone…anyone…offered me tickets to a game….I would be all over it. It is part of who I am…it’s in my blood.
I had not thought about why I have this fondness for the game until last week…and an opportunity came up that I could not resist….the light bulb came on…a bases-loaded-out- of-the-park homerun happened.
The Astrodome celebrated its 50th birthday. I will never forget the first time I came to the dome. I had been to Veteran’s Stadium…ball park of my hometown boys…and loved every minute of it…but there was something so very unique…ultra special…about the Dome. It was like a big house…and everyone was there to participate. I sat in awe of the hugeness of it…that perhaps the saying was true after….everything IS bigger in Texas.
I heard on the news that they were going to open up the Dome to the public and I knew without a doubt that I would be there. It was going to happen. A very dear friend of mine was persuaded to come with me…and off we went.
I had convinced myself that the main reason the powers that be were doing this was to let the public see the state of disrepair that the stadium had fallen into. That this would be the final push to level the eighth wonder of the world and give more parking to the replacement stadium that stands beside this old dame.
What I found out instead was completely the opposite. As we stood in line…along with hundreds of our closest friends…I could hear the stories being told. The games that were played there…concerts…rodeo…WWF…the list went on. There was such a wealth of history being shared there in line that the anticipation was killing me for them to open the doors to get this over with….to put a period at the end of this sentence…chapter…story.
I did not expect to feel what I did as we entered the stadium…field level. I was suddenly drenched in memories…of the amount of time that I spent in this building…and more so…how much I loved the game….which is when it occurred to me…why.
Yes, it has a lot to do with the actual game…its simplistic plays…that is like poetry in motion…but I realized it is so much more. It has everything to do with the ties to the game…what I felt as I walked into the Dome.
I know because my grandfather was an avid Phillies fan, I became one also. I can still picture him sitting at the dining room table with his beer and cigar, listening to his boys of spring…fading into “not good enough for the play-offs” team…which took so much out of him emotionally…but he never wavered his support of them.
My dad would take my brother and I to Veteran’s stadium…and it was like a mini vacation for us. It was a world set apart. The roar of the crowd…the players giving so much of themselves…to retain our loyalty…to hopefully be part of history. It bonded my brother and I…the two youngest of the Shaw clan.
For my siblings…four of the five…it was our summer ritual…to meet in Houston…and catch a game. It was like we settled into what we all knew so well. We might have rooted for different teams, but it was game that drew us…the common appreciation for what went on….both on the field…and in the stand.
My own children got dragged to many games. I am not sure if they share my same love of the game…that did not matter. They loved me…and indulged me by going to what I loved…being a part of…baseball.
As I walked into the stadium I realized it has everything to do with memories…that continual thread of life that came together…as I glanced into the barren stands…trying to picture where we used to sit…what part of the field we stood in…the many different times I came here…how much it tugged on my heart strings. It is what we want to pass down to our kids…..so that generations are crossed…brought together.
I could not help but think that I was not the only one who felt this way. I could see it in the faces around me…as they looked…pointed…smiled…teared up. It seeps into your heart…the remembering of something that holds weight.
“Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God “ John 1:12
The same can be said about my love of God…and the reason why that love is so deep…..FULL. The memory…the acknowledgment of my place in Him and….more importantly…His place in mine. I know…I see…I feel…I touch…and KNOW my very fiber is rooted in Him. I know I just need to revisit that experience so I don’t allow it to grow stale…or mundane…or everyday.
It is what called me out of the life that I lived…into the life that God called me to. He wants my attention…my awe…my remembrance…so that I am rejuvenated in the Holy Spirit…ready to be His greatest fan.
I am not sure what will become of the Astrodome…my visit there may be the last time I will ever see it…but it triggered what it was supposed to…my desire to keep what I love alive…always. Baseball has been very very good to me…God has, is and always will be…even better. Amen.