Blog Entry

Sports Appreciation Day! S.A.D.

Posted on: August 13, 2008 2:54 pm
Edited on: August 14, 2008 9:36 am
Sports Appreciation Day!

  As a child growing up in the care of the C.H.S. I had very few opportunities to play organized sports and even fewer chances to see the games live. I do however remember the day I fell in love with sports and to be more exact, Baseball. Every year just after Thanksgiving the children in the home would get together to make out the list of things they would like to receive for Christmas. As a "lifer", the term for the older kids deemed unadoptable, i would sit back in wonderment. Each child would go to task writing the list. You would even see some verifying with Webster as to make sure they spelled each item correctly. The joy this brought to the faces of those kids was my gift. I enjoyed the hope they showed.

  For me and my little brother who had also been in the system for many years it was always the same thing, another waste of time but at some point we would cave in and make our list. He was 5 at the time and I 13 so this was always for me an effort in futility and yet I tried to be positive as not to cause him any more unnecessary pain. Every year he would put the same thing on the list. Parents. That was the list. The first few years he would be specific but as time passed the list became one word. For me it was always a grand gesture that I would put knowing that no matter how big or small I made the list I would get the staples, socks and underwear. Well this year I thought it would be really funny to put an unattainable gift, my attempt to appease my sense of doubt I would guess. I put down three words. Live sporting event.

  I had seen a few games on TV and was a fan of the teams all my peers hated. Being from NYC I chose the Dallas Cowboys in football simply because the team and I have the same birthday. I chose the NY Rangers for hockey because the left over jerseys we had for our street games were the Islanders and I despised them for that reason. I chose the SA Spurs in basketball because the only game I had ever seen was one with the Red, White and Blue ball and that was cool. As for Baseball I had chosen the Yankees. I had read a story about the great Thurman Munson and so I chose his team. I did not care that they were from New York or that they had won a bunch of games just that his story had so touched me has a young boy.

  So now that the background is set up I can finish the tail of Christmas. When the day rolled around we all come running down our respective hallways to see what we have. Everyone skips past the dining hall, which is amazing in and of itself but that is another tale, and head right to the large group hall. There it stood for all to see, THE TREE. All the kids smiled and when they noticed all the gifts wrapped under the tree they screamed for joy.I casually leaned on the wall and waited to see my little brother emerge from the pile.

  He had a little box and a very large card with his name printed in large letters on the envelope. I have to admit I was shocked. I was also perplexed as we had never seen this before and I was on my tenth Christmas in the system. He came over to me with a look on his face as to say what do I do now. I sat him down and told him to open the box. As he ripped it open it was a very unique gift, it was from a set of parents and it was a picture of his new room. The card was next and it simply read "We would like you to come and live with us" and had a picture of a young couple included. He was so over joyed he could not contain his reaction and vegan to jump and scream and thank Santa Claus and anyone else that would listen. When he finally calmed down he sat next to me and began to cry. "Will you be coming with me?" he asked. I had no way to answer him, I had no words to say. I was just about to try and put a sentence together when the young couple in the photograph touched me on the shoulder, almost as if on cue. The young lady grabbed my brothers hand and the young man help me to my feet. They guided us to the House mothers office and told us the news. Within in days he was gone.

  The only promise that was made to me was that we would stay in touch. When my brothers new father came around the following April i was , to say the least, shocked. I was in the courtyard playing chess. He walked up to me with the house "parent" and asked if I would like to go for a visit. I of course said yes. We got into a car and were driven into the City. We arrived and took a series of subway trains and when we emerged there it was. Yankee Stadium. I saw my little brother running towards me and tried in vain to hold back the tears. I had not seem him in nearly four months and now we are going to our first baseball game together. It was the greatest day of my childhood. He had gotten his Christmas wish and now I had received mine. I watched him and the game and to this day love the game.

  No matter what is happening around me I can always take myself back to that day , to that very second when the world was right, if only for a moment. It was baseball. I have since changed the train I take to the game as the Mets play in Queens but I still love baseball and I still remember the very second I fell in love with Sports.

Category: General
Tags: S.A.D.

Since: Mar 24, 2007
Posted on: August 19, 2008 7:46 am

Sports Appreciation Day! S.A.D.

Thanks Kenny for the input and focused is where I am at.

Since: Jun 11, 2008
Posted on: August 18, 2008 11:01 am

Sports Appreciation Day! S.A.D.

Great story sad,

I am a Braves fan and it is because I grew up watching it with my Stepfather and grandfather.  You have real true story to be a Yankees fan.  It will always be meaningful to you when you see the Yankees play.  Keep your head up and never give up.  You can do anythiing with the power of your mind.  Stay focused.

Since: Mar 24, 2007
Posted on: August 17, 2008 8:33 pm

Sports Appreciation Day! S.A.D.

91 thank you very much, coming from you that is a great compliment.

Since: Nov 3, 2007
Posted on: August 17, 2008 8:25 pm

Sports Appreciation Day! S.A.D.

Sad I loved the story. I read it the other day and my eyes teared up.  I reread it when I got home from work and the same reaction. A very moving story and thanks for sharing it. Condolences again to your family.

Since: Mar 24, 2007
Posted on: August 16, 2008 7:37 pm

Sports Appreciation Day! S.A.D.

Thank you Clutch, it was worth every moment as I pass the lessons forward to my sons.

Since: Nov 7, 2006
Posted on: August 16, 2008 7:31 pm

Sports Appreciation Day! S.A.D.

Touching story...Must have been tough without your bro...Anyway great story..

Since: Mar 24, 2007
Posted on: August 15, 2008 11:21 pm

Sports Appreciation Day! S.A.D.

Thank you Vinnman, I will be at our home park next week and so I will hold up a sign for the CBS gang. I have good seats you should have no problem finding me.

Since: Oct 27, 2006
Posted on: August 15, 2008 11:13 pm

Sports Appreciation Day! S.A.D.

Sadur, What a nice story, it bought tears to my eyes....As I said earlier, I am sorry to hear about your loss...

Keep your head up and keep on smiling....and Go Mets!!!

Since: Mar 24, 2007
Posted on: August 15, 2008 9:19 pm

Sports Appreciation Day! S.A.D.

MK , someone once said that sports can be therapy, you have just shown us that. I am glad to have been apart of this for you and feel free to use us as a sounding board any time. Thank you for you conviction and your post.

Since: Jul 1, 2008
Posted on: August 15, 2008 9:08 pm

Sports Appreciation Day! S.A.D.

Sad that was extremely touching!  I appreciate your sharing that helps me and I am sure all get a better understanding of who you are.

Well, since you were so forthcoming with information I figured for once I would give all a brief window into my soul.  I'm extroverted in general however when it comes to personal things I am introverted and really am not good about sharing personal things but I am going to give it a shot.  Also, please bear with me as I don't really have a thorough understanding of how this group sharing concept works so if I make some mistakes please forgive.

I don't know if I can break Sports Appreciation Day down to just one day for me.  Growing up in my family sports especially the Pgh Steelers were always major it was one of the few times when we all got together and bonded.  I remember being about 5 or 6 (and at that time we only had one TV in the house) and asking my dad could we please change the channel to something besides football and his response was girl don't you know this is the game of the year.  Well after hearing that on numerous occasions I soon learned that every game was the game of the year and if you can't beat them, join them.  My father had difficulty with showing emotions and was not good at sharing hugs and kisses with his only girl and I have suffered from not having the benefit of that as a child.  However, what he did show me was sports!  He always let me play with my brothers, never let me feel like I couldn't do something because I was a girl and it taught me toughness.   I got many a bump, bruise and scrape.  In fact, I gave my poor mother fits.  She would say I have two boys and yet you are the one who always has me scared you're the one whose always getting hurt.  But, I was tough never cried learned to suck it up.  I was glad he let me be that person when I was young I was long and lanky (as a woman I have grown into everything however), with glasses and braces and extremely insecure although I was always very easygoing on rare occasions people would test me.  I would surprise people though because they were amazed with my size that I was so strong.  But, my daddy and my brothers taught me that.  Last year may have been the toughest of my life.  I had to watch my father who had always been full of life, robust and healthy be stripped down so much with Parkinsons.  It was a shock that I still struggle with.  My father and me have not always kept in touch the best over the years after my parents divorced with both of us having issues struggling with keeping up with communication since he moved away a bit.  However, seeing my 59 year old father in a hospital with the shakes and taking forever to eat broke my heart into pieces.  He always had been so independent and yet those months following his diagnosis were hard for him and me and my brothers he since is doing a lot better but will never on the outside be the man I remember as a child.  However, my brothers and I am him still get together to watch and talk football with him and it will forever be a bond between us.

I know this is getting rather lengthy and although this part isn't related to the sports topic as much cause my mother was never huge on sports but she did sit in for the Steelers games, I can't stop there guess I am just feeling the need to unburden.  Two months after my father came out of the hospital, my mother went in to the hospital for psychiatric reasons and at the time was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia.  This ended up being way worse than my fathers situation as although it is easier to control with medicine it is much harder to get the individual to take the medicine because they don't feel like nothing is wrong with them.  My mothers situation was not a complete surprise my brother that lives in Pgh and I had noticed somethings that we were questioning about her for a few months but weren't in a rush to have her hospitalized because in talking to her about other issues she seemed perfectly fine.  Well to try to make a long story short it turned out to be awful at the time the police ended up having to come get her she had barricaded herself in the house thinking people were trying to kill her.  My brother ended up being the person who eventually got her out with the police's help but they took her straight to the hospital.  I got that call at work and it was horrible me trying to talk to her at the time she was a mess.  Anyway, it was a struggle for a time there and for a short while she didn't want to take her meds.  Finally just within the last two to three months she is doing extremely well and is back to the woman I have known. 

I thought I was doing good at the time when all this was going on but it all rushes back to me at times now and I have these minor breakdowns that I didn't have at the time.  I go into these crying fits and it is extremely scary to me as well as my fam.  To a person that is usually upbeat this is a bit unnerving especially since I worry about perhaps inheriting one of my parents illnesses especially the schizophrenia since it has some chance although they aren't overwhelming of being hereditary.  Anyway, after just having one of these a couple of days ago I am struggling to get it back together but one thing that always has been my savior is football.  It usually cheers me up, gives me something to talk about and takes my mind off my problems so I am so glad it is around because even though it is just a game, its not just a game!

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or