Today I finished the first whole baseball season with Sawan gone.
I loved baseball before I loved Sawan. I always said that I think one of the reasons that he fell in love with me was that I loved baseball. He wasn’t a huge fan when we met, but he was a guy and a sports fan. The first time we actually talked on the phone, I was at home watching the World Series on TV. It was 2005, I don’t even remember who was playing, I just remember that I was rooting for the White Sox, so he did, too. We talked for over an hour that first conversation, and finally hung up before the game ended because it went into extra innings and I had to go to bed. I remember him telling me later that he had told one of his buddies about that and they said, “She’s a keeper, Dude.” He was so proud of that.
Baseball became something that we always did together. He became a huge fan. He allowed me to have a pretend Rockies boyfriend (he coined the phrase, Hoggatt girls, in case you forgot that). He fantasized about throwing the first pitch or doing the coca-cola grounds crew challenge (this fan-participation thing that they do at Coors Field where you run all the way from the warning track, put in 2nd base, which has been removed to sweep the baseline, then run the rest of the way to the home dugout in 30 seconds or less). He told me about every third game that if he ever got picked, what he would do is start running, and then stop and shake hands with the left fielder (it was Matt Holliday when he would tell the story) and say “Hey, no way I’m going to make it, but I’m a huge fan!”
I’ve done all right this year. I used to have to leave after a few innings, now I can make it through the whole game. I just can’t handle the 7th inning stretch. Something about not having him next to me, with his arm around me, singing, just kills me every time. I’ve learned to get up and leave, to not be in the crowd while this is happening, because it reduces me to sobs and is just so humiliating. I mean really, what couple says “Take me out to the ballgame” is “our” song? But it’s pretty close.
Opening Weekend, April 2008
I wear a necklace that holds a very tiny amount of Sawan’s ashes in it around my neck. I could understand how you would think this was strange, I thought so, too, when I first heard of it, but it makes me feel like there’s part of him with me and that’s a comfort. It’s silver and has this tiny little screw in it that keeps it closed. Anyway, I was actually at the game last night, as well, and looked down at the necklace, and realized that the screw was either missing, or corroded. At any rate, there was a tiny hole in the necklace. Now, I’m sure Coors field would never have allowed me to spread Sawan’s ashes there. However, I inadvertently spread a few. I think this would make him really happy.