Wow! The Philles won the World Series last night. And yes, I am a Cubs fan. But since I grew up in the Philly area, the Phillies have always had a special place in my heart. I can't help but be a little sad today. You see, my Dad was a huge Phillies fan. He would have been so thrilled to see them finally win! And I am thrilled because it reminds me so much of him.
October 19th was the 2-year anniversary of his death and I'm especially missing him right now. In Junior High, I decided I was going to be a Mets fan (I confess, it was because I had a crush on a boy, and when the crush was over, I was already hooked. The Mets actually won in the mid to late 80's after all!) He never once gave me a hard time about it. In fact, he always made sure we got tickets to see the Phillies/Mets once a summer at the Vet. I was pretty obnoxious about it too. If you know anything about Phillies fans, you know they don't take well to visiting fans in the ballpark, especially 13-year-old fans oblivious to that fact! In college, I didn't pay much attention to baseball, except to go to a few Red Sox games every year (they were so bad then, it was easy to get tickets!) It was moving to Chicago that drew me back to my love of baseball. How could you go to Wrigley Field and live in Chicago and not end up a Cubs fan? Every year, we would talk Phillies/Cubs and wonder if our teams were ever going to win the World Series. Well Dad, your Phillies did it!
Our last baseball game together was 4 or 5 years ago, a Phillies/Cubs game at the brand new Citizens Bank Park in Philly. My Dad had already been diagnosed with cancer then, but was still pretty healthy. I, of course, went decked out in my Cubs gear, and he in his Phillies. You can see by the picture that our seats were nosebleed, 3 rows from the very last row in the very upper deck! It didn't matter... I have such great memories of that day! Baseball was one of the big things we had in common. It was a way for us to connect.
There is a song on Chris Tomlin's new CD titled "I Will Rise" that makes me think of my Dad. One day in the car, I was telling Drew and Tessa that this reminds me of Pop-Pop in heaven and then the next time we got in the car, Tessa started asking for "Pop-Pop's song." It's set in future tense, but I always think of how this is my Dad's present reality--in the presence of God.
"I will rise, when He calls my name,
No more sorrow, no more pain.
I will rise, on eagle's wings,
Before my God, fall on my knees,
And rise, I will rise...
... And I hear the sound of many angels sing,
"Worthy is the Lamb!"
And I hear the voice of every longing heart,
"Worthy is the Lamb! Worthy is the Lamb!"
I am comforted by the fact that my Dad is living eternity in heaven in the presence of God. But I really miss him here on earth...