Life at its luckiest: a tribute

Murphy, Ryan G.

The odds that a randomly chosen person will go to a Major League Baseball game and get hit by a ball are 1 in 300,000. I’m that one guy in the stands who wears his glove the entire game and comes home wearing an ice pack. No ball … or glove.

I guess that’s fair, though. People are lucky in their own right. Some win the lotto (1 in 15,890,700). Some draw royal flushes (1 in 649,740). Some live to the age of 115 (1 in 2.1 billion). I’ve become rather accepting to the notion that I am not exactly a “lucky” person.

I have amazing parents, though. My dad gets Mets tickets for the two of us almost every time I come home for break. He’ll listen intently as I rattle off endless baseball gibberish throughout the game. (He likes tennis.) He’ll also make sure that Mike Piazza’s strikeout to end the inning fires him up just as much as it fires me up. The best part about it is that I know my dad isn’t really much of a baseball fan at all. He’s there for me.

Growing up, he was the He-Man I looked up to. I swear he could beat up every dad on the block. He and I would mow the lawn together every Saturday morning. Looking back, I realize that I usually didn’t do such a great job. My lawn mower blew bubbles. He and I would sing the Alvin and the Chipmunks theme song 1,000 times before the show came on at 10 a.m. We’d eat a tuna sandwich and three cookies each for lunch. OK, five, “but don’t tell mom!” We have a secret handshake that we still do today.

My mom is still my mom – even though she worries that she’s not. She’s scared that I don’t need her anymore, but she couldn’t be further from the truth. As far as best friends go, she is my soul mate. But that makes sense, since she is the only one who has really seen me cry. She knows why it hurts, before I even know that I’m hurting.

She worries too much that her overcooked omelets and reminders to put on sunscreen are the only things that still make her my mom. But I know that’s not all. She tries … and she’s there for me.

Mom and I would take a nap every day at 12 o’clock. She was my pillow. Still is. We would wake up to an afternoon of Smurfs, Sesame Street and cheese sandwiches. Snack was three, OK, four cookies, “but don’t tell Dad!” Mom and I will always be buddies like that.

This weekend, many of our parents will be with us. Enjoy the time you spend together. Acknowledge to yourself how important these people are to you. More importantly, tell them what they mean to you. I certainly will, because when it comes down to it, I realize that I’m not so unlucky after all. In my eyes, I’ve already won the lottery and I’ve beaten that royal flush with five of a kind. Actually, it’s more like two of a kind.