A Letter From Dad: Sports Are a Microcosm of Life

Dear Ruby,

I miss you. I’m sitting in your room, kissing the picture I have of you and wishing I could have held you for just one more second. I wish I could have heard your voice and seen your eyes full of wonder. The grief and devastation I carry each day is made lighter only by my love for you. When I think of you I hurt, but I smile – a sign of growth.

IMG_4543A few weeks ago, during a stressful day, I took a short walk around the block to clear my head. Turning the corner, I looked down and stopped in awe to see your name etched into a leaf. You are always with me, especially when I need you most. 

When your mom told me she was pregnant with your sister, I didn’t know how to react. I was overwhelmed. I was shocked, excited, scared, grateful and even felt self-preserving denial. After 38 weeks of anxious anticipation we had lost you and I felt anguish I didn’t know humans could feel. We were steps away from the finish line only to be told we needed to start over. How could we gather the courage and focus needed to start another 40 week journey? We had been beaten down, dejected and exhausted but so lucky to be starting again.

Before falling asleep that night, I found myself thinking of the 2004 American League Championship Series. [Didn’t see that one coming, did you?] I’ve always been a passionate sports fan and a very mediocre athlete. Hopefully you would’ve gotten your mom’s athletic genes. The Boston Red Sox were down 3 games to 0 and losing game 4 in the 9th inning. They were 3 outs away from elimination and had so far to go. I identified with them. They were on the ropes with an insurmountable task ahead, but they had hope. They were still alive and still fighting.

“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”

Instead of focusing on winning the series, they focused on winning each at-bat, each inning. With this mindset, they made history. Not only did they come back to win game 4, but miraculously game 5, game 6 and game 7 to earn their spot at the World Series.

We have lost so much, but we have hope too. In August, 40 weeks seemed like an insurmountable task, yet I kept thinking of that team. Instead of focusing on April 29th, I would focus on each appointment, each ultrasound, each heartbeat and each kick. If I could stay in the zone, I would stay calm and strong for mom and your sister.

With 5 weeks to go, staying present is crucial as fears of tomorrow are sweeping in like Mariano Rivera’s cut-fastball. I must stay the course and fight through the disruptive “what if’s”. Each kick is an opportunity to cherish what I have now.

Luckily, when I lose my way, you are always there coaching me along. You give great pep talks, Ruby. Thank you for insisting on helping and making your presence undeniable. One step at a time is one step closer to the finish line. At 35 weeks, it’s game 7 and there’s no one I’d rather have on my team.

I love you, Ruby

Dad

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One thought on “A Letter From Dad: Sports Are a Microcosm of Life

  1. Andrew,

    I couldn’t be more proud of you.

    To this day I wish I could take the hurt from for me to bear.

    Your outlook is wonderful.

    In such instances, many couples fall apart. Julie and you have bonded closer.

    You are loved and admired. You know you are not alone.

    Anything, anytime, anywhere.

    Love you,

    Dad

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