A Celebration

Sarah Rosenblum

My dad unwound a brittle rubber band around a set of mock baseball cards and picked out a frayed Joe Morgan, telling us how he admired him as the best second basemen of his time. He proceeded to describe how he broke his collarbone when he was our age, when he played that same position. In an attempt to lift his spirits, my grandfather took him to funny movies which resulted in my dad half laughing and half crying from the pain of laughing. We learned how to play strat-o-matic, a board game we agreed to be the originator of fantasy sports. Each player and team was accurate to the year the game was bought, each batting average and position true to the player’s statistics. The components of the game consisted of a die, a stack of cards, each of which had a number on it, and a list of these numbers with descriptions that would show the fate of the play.  We flipped through the old game records that my dad and grandfather had penciled lining up the teams to match the series playing that weekend, predicting the real life outcomes. Each team was evaluated carefully, and we all competed to be the first to find which would be the best team. My dad turned over a Don gullett card, still labeled as the Cincinatti Reds. A grin crossed his face, and he began to holler out into the hallway at my grandfather to tell him that this game is so old, it was from even before Don Gullett came to the Yankees. He stopped himself suddenly, and we understood he had caught himself wanting to call out to his dad but then realized that he is no longer around. His smile wavered for an instant, but then returned. Maybe my grandfather would not fill a seat at the table, but wherever he was, he was having fun along with us. This old strat-o-matic brought back memories that contributed to a great life to be celebrated. This thanksgiving, we celebrated life, and a life well lived.