Monday, September 30, 2013

We Are Family: Baseball, Exile and the Communion of Saints

I had a great Great Aunt. She was like a third grandmother to me. She supported me in many ways. She helped me get to Germany as an exchange student after my freshman year of high school. She sent me money each  month during college along with a note to "Have fun!" Evidently, she was worried I would be far too serious and engaged in my studies to do anything fun... no worries there. She was so important in my life, that my daughter is named after her (as well as my wife's grandmother, who also shares the same name).

But what I remember probably most of all is baseball. She loved the Pittsburgh Pirates. And she instilled that in me as well. She got me a membership to the Dave Parker Fan Club. She gave me an autographed baseball that she was given, with almost the entire team on it. She also would take my brother and I, along with her friend and her nephew to Sunday afternoon baseball games. I remember the first time she asked me to go. I went to Sunday school but skipped out on worship, so we could make it to the game on time. It was an amazing time whenever we went. Those trips remain storied adventures.