Baseball is hands down one of my favorite ways to enjoy a Saturday. Rob and I grew up on the bleachers of Comiskey Park and Fenway, and it thrilled both of us when our boys chose baseball as their sport. Rob worked hard to be at as many practices and games as he could, just like his dad had done for him. He coached or assisted; and when his commuter train was delayed, he’d hop off a stop early and walk to the field in his dress clothes to make it in time for practice.
This past Saturday we spent the morning at the batting cages. Watching my boys hit, I remembered their last game back in the spring. It was my older son’s last season of Little League, and he and his brother had been drafted to the same team. Rob was their assistant coach, and the three of them spent many hours together at the field and the cages.
When they lined up for the national anthem at the championship game in late June, I snapped this picture through the fence. I knew it was my oldest’s last Little League game. I never could have imagined it would be Rob’s too. He died less than a month later.
When we arrived home from Rob’s funeral services, we learned that our hometown league had organized a fall ball season to provide community support for our boys as they grieved. The league generously cared for us in so many ways over the fall months. Of the many who have supported us since Rob’s death, I am especially grateful today for our Little League communities on both coasts. Their love for us expressed in such practical ways has made a lasting difference in my boys’ lives.