Commentary by T.W. Bill Neville
It's that time of year when "memories" resume their annual, torrential, cascading out of my subconscious into the "REMINISCING" corners of my mind.
This year, my Father would have been 105 years old, but his influence on my life and events supporting his "title" of Father always serve to get me into the "spirit" of Christmas. That is specifically pertinent this year, with the "passing" of my totally "committed" to "all" things Christmas wife of 65 years.
My Father was, in spite of many health problems, and associated career setbacks, always the perpetual optimist. When asked how he was doing, he always responded, "I'm in pretty good shape--for the shape I'm in."
He had a philosophy for life which he loved to extol, based on his karma that "Nobody gets out alive, so why spend time worrying about things you can't or don't control."
He also stoically expounded on the belief that you "should reduce everything to the ridiculous, and never get hung up on the minutiae cascading down on everyone".
His baseball career as a semi-pro pitcher and major league prospect were cut short because of arm trouble, but with inimitable pluck and resolve, he rescued his love of the game by becoming a home plate umpire, where he "encouraged" all his many "fans" to cheer and jeer his every call, behind the "plate!" When I asked him if that "jeering" bothered him, he responded that "while they were picking on him, they were leaving someone else alone, and that to him, IT was not only a part of the GAME, but the GAME, within the GAME!"
Do I miss my Father?-You bet I do, but now that he and his favorite "little girl", as he called my wife, are
together again, I can hear him "SHOUTING" from on high------"Let's play ball and get on with the GAME!"
SO! What's a SON to do? At 87, with failing "eye" sight and bad "wheels", maybe I should take up "UMPIRING", TOO?