BY KERIANNE LYNCH
Boston Sports Desk Correspondent
That’s the Magic of Fenway Park
In late June of last year, my family suffered the loss of my Uncle Wayne, my father’s younger brother, in a motorcycle accident. He was the only one involved, and to this day we don’t know what happened… It was an unfortunate twist of fate and God just needed Wayne more than we did. He left behind one daughter, 26, three older brothers, both of his parents and countless family and friends.
A few days after our loss, I purchased Red Sox tickets from a friend. I couldn’t even tell you who they played against because my memory of the game is solely of the company I was in that day.
My husband and children were going away for the weekend; I stayed behind for work reasons.
I asked my Dad to join me, I told him I won the tickets from work, I didn’t want him to know I paid for them and feel obligated to go considering the circumstances of the week prior. (Guess he knows now) At first he willingly said he would be happy to but as the game approached he backed out, I expressed my disappointment and told him that I thought it would be good for him to get out and be occupied with something other than the loss of Wayne.
He asked me to not count him out completely but try and find someone else to go with me. I never asked anyone else; I knew he would change his mind.
A little background on my father and sports… I never remember watching ANY sport with him growing up. He was always front row in center whenever possible for my athletic endeavors as a child and young adult, but never took me to anything professional. It’s not that he left me out, he himself never showed an interest, maybe occasionally when the big games arose but not on a regular basis.
The day of the game came and we drove in discussing anything besides Wayne, music, weather, my kids, my siblings, work and our plans for the day.
Walking down Yawkey Way towards the field, we were behind Theo Epstein; I pointed him out to my dad and then had to immediately explain to him who Theo was.
We spent some time in the Souvenir Shop before walking to our Gate and making our way to the Right Field Roof, not before grabbing some frosty Budweisers though.
We spent approximately half an inning in our chairs, where I told him about the origin of the Monster Seats, the Bleacher Bar, and a background on a few of the players. I also distinctly remember that I have never heard a better version of the National Anthem than the one we heard that day.
Eventually we saddled up to the bar at the Bud deck.
We spent the rest of the day there, watching the game from the monitors and discussing life in general. It must have been the nostalgic backdrop of the day that just had the memories pouring out.
We spoke in depth of my Uncle Wayne, and dare I say contemplated commemorative tattoos for him and talked at length about my husband, Kevin, and my father’s overwhelming love for him. Even as I sit here now and remember the day I get emotional, a trait I inherited from my dad. We must have looked like a couple of lost souls, sitting on our bar stools, sobbing into our beers, but we didn’t care.
After the 7th inning stretch I had to explain to my dad why they stop serving alcohol and his response was “Wanna get out of here, do some shopping and hit a bar?” a classic Dad statement.
We walked downstairs to one of the stores inside the park and I picked out a sweatshirt, a t-shirt for my husband, and some silly bandz for the kids.
We took the long way out of the park arm in arm and posed outside the Ted Williams statue for a picture before heading back to the car.
He kept saying that he promised Anne, my stepmother, that he would be home for dinner, but we still stopped at The Four’s in Norwell for a few beverages and a pizza, both of us desperate to make the day last just a little bit longer.
I was home before sundown, showered and waiting for my family to return from their weekend away. I remember texting my Dad to express my utter love for him and that I had never in my life had a better experience at Fenway. I’m sure he responded to me but what I remember most is a text I received from my step mom saying “Your Dad had a lot of fun today, but did you have to send him home to me all emotional? : ) ”
My father and I still discuss that day, almost every time I see him. We have started to plan another outing, to the Monster Seats, where neither of us has ever sat. I think it would be an error, trying to recreate that day last summer, because it is probably impossible.
We could have had our conversations and drinks at any bar in America but something tells me it wouldn’t have been as special as that day at Fenway. Years from now when I am old and my father is gone, I will always look back on that day smile and remember that the Red Sox are more than just a baseball team, they are a tradition.