The day was October 26, 1997.
I was five-years-old, going on six in a matter of days, and had spent the past week at MacNeal Hospital in Berwyn. On October 21, we were celebrating my sister’s birthday, and I forgot why, but I felt compelled to be a typical five-year-old older brother and spoil one of my sister’s gifts. I went to my room and in what I assume was a cruel act of God, I stopped breathing laying in my bed.
I don’t remember much of what happened between then and being located in the ER, although my mother has told me in recent years the same thing happened a year prior, which has escaped my memory. It was an asthma attack, a brutal and horrifying experience at such a young age.
Those hospital days remain vivid and clear in my mind. I remember the dreadful needle test for allergic reactions, blowing out the digital candles to test my breathing, and above all else, the parched and unappealing food. I also vividly remember watching one of the best World Series in recent memory there.
Due to the influence of my grandfather and uncle, I had fallen in love with the sport just before the 1995 World Series; it helped that Uncle Tom was an avid Braves fan, as they won the Series in ’95 and lost to the Yankees in ’96. This would be the third I would have seen, and it was dramatic. A star-studded, Cinderella story Florida Marlins against the determined, hungry Cleveland Indians. The games in Cleveland were made memorable by temperatures near-freezing and a lot of bad pitching.
Sure enough, the series was tied 3-3 on October 26, 1997, and in my hospital bed, I witnessed my first Game 7 of the World Series. Read the rest of this entry »