Thursday, December 03, 2009

One eighteen

My dad could throw a knuckleball. Overhand, underhand. If you ever seen someone throw a knuckleball, ever seen one up close, floating by you when you've got a bat in your hand, it's pretty mesmerizing.

When he threw it, his eyes were huge - Mike Singletary-like, for those of you who know the reference. Being a perfectionist, Dad worked hard to conceal the pitch, to keep his motion consistent. But a knuckler looks like a knuckler coming off the pitcher's hand. And knowing the pitch is a knuckler won't help you hit it, anyway.

It made me realize - I think most of us realize - that Dad was letting us hit pitches. That if he wanted to, he could have dug out the huge sweeping curve too and kept us at bay for as long as he wanted.

He's not going to throw a knuckler anymore. It sucks. Kellen will never see it, and I guess it's to me to explain in reverence so he understands what an amazing, dominating athlete Bat was. Ridculously fast. Incredible hands. Mercury quick.

I sat across the table from Dad on Tuesday and told him that we all have to quit wishing. Wishing for the past, for the days of the knuckler, for a batch of waffles prepared while dad was whistling to the stero.

And we have to quit wishing for the future. Today is today and it's all we have. And today is the only place where God is waiting for us. For Bat, all 118 pounds of him.


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