Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Another Giants championship!

Two nights ago I had the thrill of watching my favorite baseball team, the San Francisco Giants, win the World Series. It was their second triumph in the last three years. Before their last Series victory in 2010, I never thought I'd live to see a Giants' World Series triumph. Their previous championship season was 1954, the year before I was born. They'd come close several times, most notably in the heartbreaking World Series debacle of 2002. I figured that my life and the Giants coming out on top would not overlap.

But in 2010, they defied the odds and won the World Series. What a thrill. After Brian Wilson struck out the last Texas Ranger, I celebrated with my son in our New York home as if we were part of the crowd back in San Francisco.  The entire Bay Area was swept up in Giants Fever. Even my mother, never a sports fan, couldn't resist getting caught up in the excitement. And this was in October, seven months after she was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. She wasn't even expected to be alive by the time October rolled around.

My mother saved for me the San Francisco Chronicle reports on the World Series. Ever thoughtful of others, she purchased gear for me, my brother and my son commemorating the victory. For me she bought a cap that reads "2010 Giants World Series Champions." Thinking about this now, it's amazing that while she was getting chemotherapy and not sure how much time she had left, she was able to think about small things that her loved ones would like.

For the last two days, I've been wearing the cap to celebrate the Giant's 2012 championship. But this cap isn't just any cat. It's like so many things I have that I owe to her thoughtfulness: the seat covers she sewed for me, the candlesticks she gave us, the dishes she helped me select, the bookshelves she helped pay for, the jewelry she gave my wife as birthday presents and, finally, the clothing she gave my wife in her last year of life because she knew she wouldn't wear them again.

The cap is one of many objects around my home that I wouldn't have but for my mother. Now that she is no longer alive, these objects take on a new meaning. A sanctification of sorts. A reminder of all she gave me, the tangible and the emotional, of the myriad small and profound connections that characterized our relationship.

Had she lived, she surely would have bought me a 2012 Giants victory cap. I'm wearing the 2010 championship cap this week to celebrate their victory and in her honor. As for purchasing this year's championship gear, I'm on my own.

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