Well, dearest diary, here I am - sitting in hard back chair in the airport terminal waiting area. It has been a long two weeks, but today is the day that Joe comes home, and I feel like a kid waiting to sit on Santa’s knee.
Joe, my husband of 35 years, had wanted to make the trip to New York to see the Yankees play since he was a kid. Life just got in the way. He was going to go for his high school senior trip, but his grandmother died. When he graduated from college, he and I were going to go, but then our house burned. Five years ago, he was going to take our son, Michael, but then the hurricane of the same name hit, and hit hard. Joe is a doctor, and so, he was here, in the center of it all. We were in Mexico Beach … Florida.
People were in a need. So, Joe stayed.
Michael, myself and our oldest son, Jethro, decided this year he was going to go - his 50th birthday. Jethro went with him because Michael had to work.
We gave him his first class tickets for the flight and the seats for the game in a box wrapped in recycled brown bags. “OK, now I am scared. What is this?” Joe was sitting at his place at the table in our home now in Houston, Texas. We had just had his favorite dinner - hamburger steak, yellow rice and sliced bell peppers, and cut his cake - a plain pound cake with candles. He signed with his hands. I can hear, but my hearing is impaired heavily, so my boys, my husband and I learned how to sign together.
Michael was sitting to his dad’s left, and I sat on his right, and Jethro was filming everything with his Iphone.
“Oh, it is just a little something Mom and us decided to put together for you,” Michael’s signing was quick, and ‘articulate’ if you could say that about someone doing sign language.
Joe turned to me as he was opening, “Sarah Jo, I thought we weren’t going to do any gifts.” He was looking right at me, and I heard him. “Bub, we couldn’t let the big day go by without doing something.” I told him.
When he opened the box, he literally cried. He was just overwhelmed. Joe is the type of guy who just kind of does everything for everyone else, and is pretty humble … a behind the scenes type of guy.
He and Jethro went, and had been to at least seven games. He called me every other night and emailed everyday or texted everyday. The pictures Jethro was sending showed a relaxed, happy Joe.
And that makes me happy.
Michael just walked over, carrying two to-go coffees from the airport’s ‘Starbucks,’ and handed me one. We are sitting here, watching as passengers come through the gates headed toward baggage claim and greeting families.
We have about 45 more minutes before they arrive. Joe told me last night that other than the two weeks we went on our honeymoon to England, this was probably the best two weeks. He and Jethro had done several things - tours and museums, and even went to a taping of the Kelly and Ryan Talk Show, and he had the chance to meet Alex Rodriguez, one of his favorite baseball players.
Apparently, Jethro and Joe won two tickets to the show at one of the ballgames.
“Honey, my seat was the winner. I didn’t know they were doing a whole baseball show. Our seats were second row from the front on the ground floor. I was on the end and Jethro was beside me. They gave us all baseball hats … I got a Yankees’ hat, and Jethro got a Mets’ hat. They gave us tickets to one of the games for the following week, and tickets to J-Lo’s concert that weekend. Alex was one of the guests, and we were just shocked. He shook my hand, and looked at Jethro’s hat, and said ‘You should respect your old man.’ After the show was over, we were walking outside, trying to decide what to do for lunch, and Alex and Ryan came out.”
Joe just sounded so happy.
He told me that “He saw us, and walked over. Alex said ‘We had this bet that you guys are father and son … he looks so much like you.’ Honey, apparently, Ryan and Alex had seen us on the monitors and saw our hats. We talked for a few minutes, got some pictures and he asked where we were going for lunch. Alex Rodriguez wanted to know where we were going for lunch.”
Alex took Joe and Jethro to lunch, and my guys were just over the moon. Michael is so jealous. I have to say, so am I, a little bit. I mean, what woman, sorry, J-Lo, wouldn’t want to meet Alex.
They went to J-Lo’s concert, and Alex saw them from backstage. He invited them to her dressing room. Jethro was literally over the moon then. My son used to have a poster of her in his bedroom. Michael thinks it is hidden in Jethro’s closet in the apartment they share.
Joe told me that it was just an amazing experience. I know that sounds kind of cheesy, but those were his words. "Sarah, I have seen things that we have watched or see on TV. I know we have been everywhere, but we have never been here. New York is like nothing else. I had a chance to talk to some of the people on the subway going to some of the games, and asked them why they were Yankee fans."
"They told me that it is just a New York thing. Then they asked me why I was a fan. I hated to say it was not that I was a fan, but just because I have always been curious about the Yankees, and wanted to see for myself," Joe told me.
And then he said, "Seeing is for sure believing. There is nothing like watching the Yanks play in New York and tasting a stadium hot dog."
Well, I am going to sign off now, diary. Michael just told me that their plane has landed.
As always, Sarah