I loved playing baseball. I wasn’t the best player, but I worked hard. My AAA coach, Coach Danny, said I was the most dedicated player on the team. We won the division championship that year. I didn’t make the All-Star Team, but I didn’t mind. The smile Dad gave me when he held my trophy was the happiest moment of my life.
“I wish you could have seen me play, Dad.”
He put the trophy down on the floor next to the old leather sofa and put his hand on top of my dirt-and-sweat stained baseball cap.
“I wish I could have too.”
“Do you think we can go to an Angels game sometime?”
“Sometime.” He nodded and leaned back on the sofa. “Dad’s tired right now. Goodbye.”
When Dad said “goodbye,” it unnerved me. He had a weird way of saying it, as if he were saying it for the last time. “Goodbye” made Mom turn away and cover her face.
He died a month later.
When we moved to Lake Forest, Mom thought about signing me up for the Little League there. By then, I had started studying for my bar mitzvah. Plus, Grandma Dinah imposed herself more in our lives since Dad—her son—had died. She never allowed us to violate Shabbat ever again.
I still loved baseball. But between Dad’s death and Grandma Dinah’s demands, I didn’t have the heart to play it anymore.
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