Saturday, October 06, 2007

I'm tired and disappointed … but ultimately grateful

It was a bright afternoon and a clear, lovely night. Ernie Banks threw out the ceremonial first pitch, and Ron Santo sang during the 7th Inning Stretch, so I relived the glory days of my Cub fan girlhood. I ate Cracker Jack and a hot dog and drank two beers. I saw Kerry Wood pitch in the post season. We waited around for Lou Pinella doff his cap at the fans in the stands. I was there.

No, it didn't end the way I wanted it to. I resent the Diamondbacks and the Rockies both for being so nouveau and yet still doing so well. (It would be easier to take if was the Phillies who prevailed, it simply would.) From this moment on, I'm pulling for the Red Sox.

I wanted this badly and the roller coaster of emotions has left me exhausted. I'm one of the 41,000+ who entered the park with high hopes and left broken hearted (and that doesn't count the countless millions throughout Chicagoland who feel the same way). But this season has been a party. I'm not prepared to say "Wait till next year" yet because I'm still looking back at all the entertainment and happiness this team gave me this year.

Update on Nailah Franklin

This post is about the local woman who disappeared on September 19. Her legion of friends and family searched for her and kept her story front and center until, unfortunately, her dead body was found 9 days later.

Ms. Franklin's funeral was held last Wednesday. Hundreds were in attendance. A pharmaceutical sales rep for Eli Lily, she was remembered fondly as "not a star, but a superstar."

A week before her disappearance, Ms. Franklin contacted police about threatening phone calls from an ex-boyfriend. A man who once dated her was arrested Friday for "misdemeanor battery" (he allegedly threatened a gas station attendant). I'm not including his name or photo here because the authorities have not officially tied him to Ms. Franklin's death. Let's just say that I hope that talking to him brings police closer to solving the mystery of Nailah's murder.

The bunting is going up … AND I'LL BE THERE

Saturday's game, the Cubs first Wrigley Field play-off appearance in years, has long been sold out and scalpers are getting $2000/seat. But this is of no concern to me.

I'll be there. FOR FREE.

A friend of mine works for the Tribune, the company that owns the team. The Tribune had an employee lottery and she won 2 seats for Saturday and 2 seats for Sunday. She and I are going Saturday, her son and his best friend go on Sunday.

I'm excited, naturally. In my whole life I've never been to a play-off game. I believe the team will stay alive to play on Sunday, but even if they don't, I'll consider it an honor to be there. There were weeks this past summer when I wrestled with the blues, and this team was one of the few reliable bright spots, one of the only things I could depend on to distract and cheer me. I'm tickled to be one of the 40,000 fans who will be there to welcome this team home and thank them for the wild ride.

I'm also honored that my friend chose to share her prize with me. After all, I'm bumping her husband and her parents! I don't know what I've done to deserve this, but I'm grateful all the same.