Remember Where You Were

It’s hard to describe exactly what it means for your favorite sports team to win a championship. It wasn’t that long ago that I went through this with my second favorite sports team and it feels much the same. It is a brief moment of immediate joy and a bit of reveling in the moment but more important it is what comes after. No other team but the Washington Nationals will ever be 2019 World Series champions and no one can take that away. There will be books written and documentaries produced about this team. What they did was historic and not just because it was the first World Series in franchise history and the first World Series championship in DC history since 1924.

No, the 2019 Washington Nationals accomplished a lot of historic firsts. They were the first team to win eight straight road games in the playoffs, they were the first team to win a seven game series by winning every game on the road, and while I’m not sure if it is a first they faced five elimination games and trailed in every one. They overcame pitchers that should have had them like Josh Hader and Clayton Kershaw. The 2019 Washington Nationals lived up to their motto of Stay in the Fight and no matter how many times they had to come from behind they were ready to do so again.

I watched most of the game on Fox but eventually had to go and feed my boys. My boys that spent the first three months of their life in the NICU as they were born 13 weeks too soon. My boys who I wrote a 95,000 word journal for that began with a letter to them ending with the line, “If you’re reading this…” and it was an if. There was no certainty they would make it home, but that journey has ended and the next one has begun, and in the first week that they are both home the Washington Nationals are World Series champions.

I don’t know how to describe what this means to me, but I know it is important. I sat feeding my boys while listening to Charlie and Dave call a championship win for my favorite sports team. They are infants and have little idea of what is going on around them, but baseball is about family. Baseball is Max Scherzer’s father nearly breaking down crying because he is so happy for his son. Baseball is Juan Soto’s father showing up with a homemade sign and having the time of his life watching his son have the time of his. Baseball is shared moments with family and friends, and I got to share this moment with mine.

This moment felt like an exclamation point. A lot can happen in 100 days and not just in the baseball world. We had our own life to lead while visiting our children everyday and there were difficulties along the way. I’ve written enough about those already and you can read about them or allusions to them when I publish the NICU Journal. Now is the time to relish in the moment of the Nationals championship and look ahead and figure out what is next in life.

Writing the NICU Journal made me want to keep writing. I looked up writing contests and I am working on contest poems as we speak. They will be shared after they are rejected or I am allowed by the contest organizers. Both the NICU experience and the 2019 Washington Nationals got me thinking about odds. I’m thinking of titling the journal Lost Moments and Rediscovered Dreams as I will never get to be there for the birth of my first born but along the way I rediscovered the dreams I had in my younger years. I want to write and keep writing and never stop again. Does it really matter if no one cares what I have to say?

There is a Kris Kristofferson song To Beat the Devil that includes the lines ” And you still can hear me singin’ / To the people who don’t listen / To the things that I am sayin’ / Prayin’ someone’s gonna hear,” and that’s how I feel about it. It doesn’t matter if no one is going to listen because the second we give up on our dreams that’s when the devil wins. There is no reason to stop doing what you love just because it isn’t a way to earn a living. That’s a lesson I’d like to teach my boys, and it’s a lesson we can see in how the 2019 Washington Nationals never gave up, and by never giving up, staying in the fight, and going 1-0 day after day they ended up winning it all.

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