Life needs diversions

You know that reflective, somber mood that overtakes us after attending a funeral? I’m in that today.

I don’t much prefer to attend funerals – who does? Yet I do like to write when my mind is swirling in such a pensive frame of mind. This afternoon’s office plan was to return from the internment Mass of my former coworker – “Marvelous Melba” I called her – and write a Mrs. Singy column about baseball clothing.

But the topic of baseball in any shape or form on a gloomy cloudy funeral day seemed totally inconsequential. Who cares about a Yankees anything when we feel sad? Can’t take that to heaven.

In many conversations with Ken, he explains that sports is a release … a diversion … pure entertainment. Maybe that’s why we need activities like watching baseball – so we don’t walk around like post-funeral zombies 24/7, contemplating the woes of the world.

Maybe without those championship lacrosse games to focus on, Sharon and Lexie Love – the family of the University of Virginia lacrosse player, Yeardley Love, who was murdered by a former boyfriend – wouldn’t have been able to get out of bed any morning after May 3 when the horrific and incomprehensible news was delivered to them.

Maybe without the release of the cheering and the cohesiveness of UVA fans surrounding them in the stands, they would be instead lying on the floor at home kicking and screaming, totally inconsolable and heartbroken. Maybe without the thrill of watching Yeardley’s teammates “win it all for Love” … those first few emotionally raw weeks would have been absolutely and completely unbearable -not that they weren’t.

But Sharon and Lexie somehow got dressed and put one foot in front of the other to go watch a sport they heartily supported. In the stands at Klockner Stadium in Charlottesville, Va. at the start of the NCAA Tournament, they watched Yeardley’s lacrosse team win that day. They stood up and clapped, cheered, hollered, smiled and yes – sobbed – their way through the game because the sport had held great significance for their athletic daughter and sister.

Maybe for some of you, Yankees baseball has helped to get you through … a divorce, a job loss, God forbid a family tragedy, even just a bad day. Maybe watching a game or talking baseball helps you to take your mind off of a dilemma.

Yes, life needs diversions like sports. We need petty day-to-day activities to balance the heavy. We need distractions so we are able to slip out of somber moods and once again think happy thoughts.

6 Comments

You have said everything there is to say perfectly. Thank you.

Well thank you very much, ktbirdman, those are kind words.
~ Mrs. Singy

And your husband is by far one of the best to steer us through these diversions. My friends and I refer to him as “Cozy Ken Singleton” for his easygoing delivery and sense of humor; By far the best former player turned on-air talent.

Your column reminded me of a teenage memory: playing a Yankee game on the radio for my uncle as he lay in a coma. He never woke from this, but my family hoped he could hear something that brought him joy for many years. It also gave us purpose in a situation that we couldn’t control.

In that respect, I would submit that sports is much more than a diversion. It gives many of us a point of reference for which bonding can occur. I took my parents to the stadium three weeks ago and the three of us hollered with pride as A-Rod smacked a grand slam. On that night I was overcome by emotion because my dad was very close to dying just a few months prior. The man who took me as a child to The House That Ruth Built was still by my side. He’s now in good health and lived to see that glorious game…he lived to cheer on his team and to enjoy a night of thrills with his youngest son and wife of 45 years.
That evening at the stadium wasn’t a diversion. It gave us a common ground over which to bond. We talked about sports, life, etc. during those 9 innings and left with memories that will be mentioned with a smile for years to come. Heck, my dad is still talking about last year’s playoff game against Minnesota when we watched Texeira smack a home run. :-)

Wow jbcorona – you should be writing the stories here! That is a sweet one and thank you for sharing. I will relay your nice comments to my husband. One of Ken’s best memories is the first time Pop (his dad) took him to a baseball game at 5 years old I think.

You can bet your uncle heard that Yankees game, too – and knew all of you surrounded him with love.

And the best part of your story is that your dad has recovered in good health. Salute!

Thanks for reading,
Mrs. Singy

Yankees baseball got me through cancer back in 2007. A surgery and 3 rounds of chemo, to be exact. When you’re going through that, it is so hard to find something that is still “normal”. For me, my “normal” was the Yankees. Seeing the pinstripes, watching the games play out at The Stadium, listening to your husband, among others, call the games…it was like being in a safe envrionment for a few hours. One that made you forget, even for the shortest of times, that I was sick or in pain, or whatnot.
When I lost my hair, I bought myself a brand new Yankees cap. Another safe haven for me. I sort of felt like even though I was down in the dumps, I was “protected” by (at the time) 26 World Championships and all the history that went along with them. Now, even since I’ve been in remission since December of ’07, I still have that same Yankees cap, and will never get rid of it. It’s worn heavily, but I can’t discard a cap that did so much for me. I feel the same way about the entire Yankees franchise. So yes, Mrs. Singleton, the Yankees CAN and HAVE helped people through tough times. I am living proof.

Wow – wow – wow … in response to “cwj1284″ … what a bittersweet story and thank you for the sentiment. First, congratulations for staying in remission and I’m sure all the people supporting you continue to pray for your continued good health. Happy news!

By all means, never get rid of that hat certainly! I will think of you and your past struggle when I don one of the many colored ‘NY’ hats on my shelf. They are bright colors – just like your very bright story.

Thank you.

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