Sometimes when I play the APBA baseball game in the small bedroom of my home that’s been converted into a computer room and a shrine to my obsession of sports, I think I see out of the corner of my eye someone passing the door.
But it’s been six years since that’s happened.
Before, it’d be my wife walking from the back bedroom to the living room or kitchen. She’d stop by to see how things were going; she might ask what the score of the game I was rolling. She didn’t care about the tally, of course. Instead, I think she was just reminding me that there was a real world as well as the APBA world I delved into.
Six years ago yesterday, she passed away after a lengthy fight with kidney failure. So now, when I play the games, there’s no one there asking about the game’s outcome. And there’s no reminder that there is another world I live in as well.
I’ve written here before that my wife was supportive of the game. A few months before she passed away, I let her roll the dice for the last play of my 1987 replay. The St. Louis Cardinals faced Kansas City in my game. She rolled an out in the ninth inning and the Cardinals won the Series. She pretended to be amused, I think.
But she also expressed some interest in my hobby. She bought me a small case once that I could put whatever season I was playing in and travel. We spent a lot of time in hospitals in the last three years of her life and I brought the game with me. She called it my “purse,” but it was her way of teasing me. I think she appreciated, or at least accepted, that I needed that game during the rough times.
I went through the destructive phase that survivors go through after losing loved ones. But I continued playing the baseball game — the one mainstay in an otherwise twisted up life. I replayed 1974 and 1932 and then 1977. Now, I’m about 40 percent through 1981.
I will keep playing. I’m planning on tackling the 1942 season next and then I’ve got 1901 and 1906 to think about. I’ve got years ahead of me for the games.
I’ll look for someone passing the door while I play. It won’t happen, but it’s a comforting thought of days ago when things seemed better and easier and when I toted the game in my “purse.”