A dedication for the 2022 season

I'm an ambitious person by nature, so it's not uncommon for me to set elevated expectations entering the new year. I did just that last year, outlining some precise but lofty goals for the Philadelphia Baseball Review. Sadly, four days into the new year, I was dealt the unexpected blow of the death of my mother-in-law. 

She was an outstanding individual worthy of all the praise in the world, and though her passing was tough for me, it's what it did to my wife and seven-year-old son that made it nearly unbearable. Their sadness and grief shook me to my core. I did what I could to lead my family forward, but it was the biggest challenge I've ever faced. 

Weeks after her passing, we sold our home in Horsham and bought the house she purchased less than a month before her death. The boxes from her move still taped up and scattered throughout the house. She never had an opportunity to enjoy life in the quiet suburb of Warrington, a significant change from the Mayfair section of Philadelphia. 

My mother-in-law wasn't a big baseball fan, but she loved me enough to know the score of the Phillies game from the night prior. She would always get excited when something would happen on the field, no matter how ordinary. She loved the fact that I wrote about the Phillies. She knew this was my dream. Lovingly, if she spoke to me before I went to cover a game at Citizens Bank Park, she would invariably tell me to have fun as if I was going to hang in the bleacher seats with some buddies from college. 

My wife and I married in 2009, four days after the passing of Harry Kalas. I remember mentioning to my mother-in-law how I thought it would be nice to have a tribute of some sort at the reception, and I recall her less than enthused response. She never knew that tribute happened, but just with a few guys over near the bar in the side room at the Bensalem Country Club. 

I also remember visiting the Hall of Fame in 2004 on a family vacation while my wife and I were dating in college. We traveled north while her mom drove a silver Ford Windstar. I remember going through some of the mountainous terrain and the smell of the burning breaks as we made the trek to Cooperstown, N.Y. She had to stop nearly every two hours or so for a cigarette, a coffee, and a break to stretch. 

My mother-in-law was an outstanding human. Her impact on my life is everlasting, and I'm thrilled that my son had the chance to spend seven years with his mom-mom. 

I'm dedicating my season of writing this year to my mother-in-law. She was one of my biggest supporters, and she's more than deserving of recognition. 

It's far too easy to take things for granted in this chaotic world where we live. I'm taking a simple moment to pause to reflect on one of the best humans I've ever met.

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