By Todd Johnson
At 53 years of age, it has been a long time coming. The subtitle of the website this year has been “Dreaming of October 2016.” I am dreaming no more. Four more wins are needed and the Cubs will be World Series Champions! It felt so strange to type those words. But the moment is close, very close. With the way the Cubs are pitching, I feel good heading into 2016’s fall classic.
When the moment came, it was unexpected. I squeaked. I did not expect Yasiel Puig to hit into a double play. I was waiting for strikeouts as I sat about three feet away from the screen. I kissed and hugged my wife and tried to keep our dogs from jumping on us during the celebration.
As I sat down to watch the celebration, my thoughts began to turn to my father. He was a Cubs fan. He took me to games from the time I was five until I turned 26. The last game we went to together was in 1989, ironically, versus the Dodgers. He stopped watching games on TV in 2004 because his blood pressure couldn’t take it. Yet, he still checked the box scores in the paper every day. Five years ago, my father was diagnosed with dementia. His short term memory shriveled away slowly. In February of this year, we placed him in a memory care center in Sycamore and on June 29, he passed away.
I didn’t say much publicly about my father’s passing as the man I knew had been gone long before his body passed. I just immersed myself into the Cubs on this site and Cubs Insider. It might have been a defense mechanism, but it helped me take my mind off of things and it gave my some sense of normalcy and purpose this summer.
He would have enjoyed last night.
He would have liked the early cushion where the Cubs scored two runs in the first off the best pitcher in the western hemisphere in Kershaw. He would have loved the homers by Contreras and Rizzo. He would have just eaten his peanuts and cashews while drinking his Pepsi as Hendricks set them up and set them back down. He would have just shaken his head at Javy Baez’s defense.
After the celebration had gone on for an hour, I sent my mom a text around 11 p.m. I said that Dad would have enjoyed that if his blood pressure would have been able to withstand it. Surprisingly, she texted me right back. I won’t reveal that, but it was a nice moment.
Today, I will be just basking in the moment. I will do some research on the Indians and be back with a World Series preview tomorrow along with predictions from Clark and myself.
As the sun begins to pour into the house this morning, the dogs begin their daily ritual of laying on the floor wherever the sun hits the carpet. That’s kind of how I feel right now. The sun is a little brighter, the grass a little greener, the trees a little more colorful, and it’s a just good day to be a Cubs fan.