He could still feel Jay Jay's hand tugging on his sleeve. The way his eyes lit up when the crowd roared, whether he completely understood what was happening or not.
“Is it a home run Dad? Is it a home run?”
Jay Jay would have grasped the other aspects of the game in time, but his mind had wrapped around the fact that a home run made people jump up and yell with excitement. That, and the special music the ball park played every time the home team hit a home run, and he was sold. Each and every one of the three ball games we’d seen… was in anticipation of having “the Home Run Sperience.” That… and the wave.
He'd just needed more time. There had been precious little time.
He loved the crowd… and he loved being here with me. I’d tried to get him interested in watching a televised baseball game with me once and he lost interest almost immediately. He was strictly a ball park kind of guy.
My little guy. God I miss him. I thought that coming here today anyway, by myself might help. I was so wrong. Nothing helps.
There’s a wave circling the park. He would watch for these waves like a vigilant hunter or a sentry on post.
Sometimes I’d miss plays… because I was watching his face. I was watching the excitement building in his eyes and how he fixed his mouth... as he watched for a wave. Then when he spotted one, he’d literally scream his excitement to the amusement of everyone sitting around us.
“I see the wave Daddy! There’s a wave coming.” He’d be on the end of his chair with pure delight in his face…watching the wave of people ripple across the stadium. “It’s coming Daddy… here it comes.”
The closer it came to our seats… the more excited he became. Then, when it became our turn, "Jay-man" would leap in the air with a full throated scream of triumph that was completely lost amidst the roar of the crowd around us.
But I’d hear his voice.
I always heard it. And then he’d laugh with delight, watching closely to see if that same wave would make its way around the stadium and reach us again.
Now there is a wave approaching my seat.
I'm drowning in a moment of pure panic. I am counting the people I'd have to disturb to flee in the opposite direction, or possibly jump over the seats in front of me to land in the only empty seat I see.
Panic... because I don’t know if I will survive its arrival.
If I stand up and shout (or scream) with my hands in the air, lost among the hundreds of people in what used to be our section… I will be listening for his voice within the crowd.
When I don’t hear it, the end of my world will finally be confirmed… and where will I go from there?