"When I took you to the OSU baseball game and you watched the game."
People, I cannot make this stuff up.
With an incredulous look I responded, "Of course I watched the game- what was I supposed to do?!" Apparently, other girls like to talk at baseball games.
Thus our love affair began and our dream of traveling the continent and seeing a game at every MLB stadium. We raised our kids loving baseball, and we are a Yankee family. Taylor wanted to work for the Yankees someday in Public Relations.
Her space between us was prevalent all day today. I could tell we each were trying to sell "Vacation!" to one another as we sat in the sunshine listening to the waves turn upon the white sand.
"For the Love of the Game" is a baseball movie. We've watched it a dozen times. It's full of romance and love between a man and a woman and a man and the baseball diamond. There are iconic lines that have always spoke to me of Joey and epic scenes capturing what we love about the game of baseball. Baseball is his first love.
Taylor used to curl up in my bed and watch it with me.
I couldn't help but think of it tonight as we drove across Florida to watch the Yankees play the Braves at Disney's Wild World of Sports Stadium. She cheered at Nationals in that venue three years in a row, winning the title with her squad in 2010. As we approached the wrought iron globe, we took a deep breathe remembering the pictures, the girls, the family time. Joey brought us here the first time in the spring of 2008 - we watched the Tigers play the Braves and Wade made his ESPN debut cramming a chicken sandwich into his mouth during Sports Center highlights. It was a great vacation.
When the game between the Yankees and the Braves started Wednesday night, we were in our element and enjoying the last of the day's sunshine. Vendors voices bounced above the dull roar of the grandstands selling ice cream, beer, water and a variety of iconic baseball food.
A little girl sat two rows in front of us, her thin red pony tail resting just above the name "Jeter" on her Yankee jersey. We smiled. Between the first and second inning, the announcer introduced another young lady. She must have been ten or twelve. He asked us all to welcome Taylor Worthington to the game and she proceeded to announce the Braves batters with great glee and confidence. A little girl with the initials T. W. announces the line up at a Yankee game. There were tears.
By the time the third inning ended, I was ready for a ballpark dog smothered in cheese and mustard. Its disgusting, I know, but ever so heavenly. As I approached the counter to make my order, I glanced at the Disney name tag of the young lady serving me.
Taylor from Orlando.
I supposed its all a grand coincidence; we unknowingly picked a very popular name for our little girl. However, I seldom believe in chance.
The movie I mentioned calls the baseball stadium a "cathedral". For those that revere the game, I suppose it can be. For the two of us who honeymoon and vacation in the hopes of catching a game, it certainly is sacred. I think God was there reminding us he has our girl and that she is happy. I think he feels our sadness, our emptiness and wanted us to remember - for the love.