Tomorrow, May 6th, I'm going to Fenway Park to see the Red Sox play the Orioles. By coincidence, it's also the second anniversary of my dad's death.
Skip and I are meeting up with my brother, Josie and Gary at Fenway. We're up on the right field roof box, a relatively new area in the park, with table seating and waitress service. This has become our go-to spot for Red Sox games. You're pretty far away from the game, but the setting is great for socializing.
We started going to games at Fenway, taking advantage of wheelchair seating, in 2004 (great timing, eh?). Turns out the park has a lot of excellent wheelchair seating and it's relatively easy to buy these tickets. For instance, we wanted to go to opening day 2005 to see the ring ceremony and the rest of the celebration for the Red Sox' win of the 2004 World Series. We got those tickets, first row of the bleachers, at face value by calling the Sox ticket office. When I met Gary at Foxwoods a while back, he mentioned he'd bought tickets, horrible last row of the bleachers tickets, for that game so he and his dad could take in the excitement and he paid a huge sum of money for them in the aftermarket. So far, this is one of the only silver linings I've found to Skip's wheelchair usage. (Other examples are handicapped parking and getting on the rides at Disney World by skipping ahead in line.)
This year, the Red Sox are heartily sucking and the weather is only going to hit the mid 60's tomorrow. However, I am sure we'll have a wonderful time because the company is going to be wonderful. I plan to laugh all day. Win or lose, it'll be a winner day for me on the Fens.
I only went to Fenway once with my dad. It was my first visit there, back in 1967. I did suggest taking him when he was in his late 70s or early 80s, but we never worked out the plan. It would have been fun. He was smart and observant and open to new experiences. I'd have enjoyed a chance to see the park and experience the game through his eyes, as he shared his observations.
My dad was an impressive guy. Good at everything he did, active in the town and our church and incredibly handy around the house. Difficult to be his daughter while I was growing up, especially as a teen and young adult. In my teens, especially, we tangled frequently. As I became increasingly responsible as an adult, his respect for me grew and it was wonderful to have him in my court as a source of support. In his last few years, I became a regular (twice a month, on average) visitor to my parents' house on the Cape to help pay the bills and (supposedly) balance the checkbook (at which I'm not very good). But, really, it was mostly about the visit.
A lot has changed since the old boy died. My mom tried out one assisted living place that wasn't a good fit, sold her house on the Cape and moved into another assisted living place that's working out beautifully for her. I got laid off. I took stock of what my life had been like pre-layoff, with all the demands of my job combined with all the demands of caregiving, and realized I never, never, never wanted to go back to that kind of life. I always had an endless to-do list, I was always behind and under stress. I felt some satisfaction from my job, but not enough to make it soul-satisfying.
If we were entering a new financial reality where we'd no longer enjoy a nice paycheck in exchange for that demanding job, our circumstances would have to align with that reality. Downsizing to a much less expensive home is a key part of aligning our lifestyle with our finances. So, soon we'll be saying goodbye to the first house my parents designed and built together. My dad betrayed a strong streak of sentimentality in his later years, so I'm sure he'd be sad to see this house leave our family, just as I will. But, he was a practical yankee and will applaud our hard-headed sensibility that sees us embarking on a new phase of life, in our new condo in Worcester.
And, now that I've made myself feel thoroughly sentimental, I shall sign off. Have a wonderful weekend, everybody!
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