Baseball Grandma

We once visited my grandparents in Blackfoot Idaho on a beautiful sunny day. I was about 9 years old. I got a little bored and decided to snoop around. In their shed I found a baseball bat and a ball, so I decided to play with them in the back yard. I would toss the ball up a few feet in the air and try to hit it. After a while I decided that what I really wanted to do was practice hitting a pitched ball. All I needed was a pitcher.

I asked my father, and he told me that he was busy visiting, and the answer was no. My mother gave a similar answer, as did my grandfather. I made these requests quite frequently, and often had positive results – just not this time. I then decided to ask grandma.
At this time my grandmother was probably around 70 years old. I really didn’t know much, or understand much, about arthritis and osteoporosis. I just wanted someone to pitch to me. I asked grandma and she said okay.

We went outside and played. She pitched and I hit. She would then chase down the ball – sort of, and we would do it all again. After a while, if I remember this right, my parents came out and put an end to our arrangement. I received a mild scolding about begging grandma to play with me, which I may well have done.

It was not long after this that my grandmother’s health got worse. This was inevitable. For the last several years of her life she couldn’t get around very much. She spent her final years in what I imagine were constant discomfort and pain. I think of he sometimes, and I am much more likely to remember times like when grandmother and I played baseball together, than about the crumpled up woman in a wheelchair who could hardly move.

How do you want to be remembered? I think it may be good advice to treat others in the way you want them to remember you by. If you do this you will have a positive influence on all those around you that will bless your life and theirs.

3 Responses to “Baseball Grandma”

  1. 1 Naiah Earhart December 14, 2006 at 11:39 am

    Good advice—both about how we should behave, and about how to remember people. Thanks, Eric.

  2. 2 C Jones December 14, 2006 at 4:13 pm

    This makes me nostalgic for my grandma. She didn’t play baseball, but she always made pancakes in animal shapes for my siblings and I. She was a perfect grandma in my eyes, and was one of the most important influences in my life. She made all of her grandchildren feel like they were her favorite which is quite a feat. I do aspire to be like her, and would die happy if I could be remembered the way her family remembers her. Thanks for the warm fuzzies!

  3. 3 Eric Nielson December 14, 2006 at 5:06 pm

    You’re welcome sisters. That’s me…Mr. Warm Fuzzies.

    Somewhere, people who really know me a giggling. Eric? warm fuzzies? Oh my.

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