Thursday, June 17, 2010 - Braves vs. Mets
Tonight was a difficult night. It was a night that I had hoped would not come, but tried to prepare for. Ollie used to love baseball and during tonights game, through sobs, he told me he hated it. He hates it now because he just can't do what he used to do. He feels like he's losing the game for the team. He gets more frustrated now than ever before and he cries at the drop of a hat. Although I know that it's the brain tumor and not Oliver, it still is hard to watch him struggle. He seemed to be doing well for a while. He would run out to his position in the outfield with a noticeable limp, but he would try and hustle anyways. Up to bat was a bit difficult and frustrating for him if he struck out, but he handled it fairly well, he even ran around the bases and was batted in, although you could tell he was having a difficult time running as well as breathing. He got back into the dugout, still smiling after running home, and took a few puffs of his inhaler.
Next he was in the outfield and the ball finally made it to the out there. He ran to the ball and threw it to the infield which didn't even make it past the grass. He still kept it together and hustled back in after the inning was done. The next time he'd gotten on base, he was running to second, his helmet fell off which I know flustered him and he tripped over second base. He was out before he made it there, but I know that he felt like it was his fault. I didn't realize that he was sobbing all the way back to the dugout until he was halfway there. I just wanted to scoop him up in my arms and kiss it all away. His teammates didn't know why he was crying (I told them later) and at that time I didn't know either. He was just beside himself and said that he hated baseball. He said that he wished he didn't have cancer. Then, I quietly sobbed as I was sitting next to him in the dugout. Ed had come in as well and we were both telling him that it was okay and we were proud of him for getting out there and even trying. Doug, one of his coaches, came over and told him that he was doing great and that we lose as a team or we win as a team. He has so much spirit and love for the game, but now... it's just too much to handle for him. Too much for a little boy to deal with.
Most people don't know what he's dealing with, that his left side is weak and that he's throwing with his non-dominant hand and runs with a limp now. They can see the eye patch, but still don't know why he's wearing it. It's so hard seeing him struggle and not be able to do anything about it. His coaches are great and they want him to feel comfortable and have fun. They said that he could do whatever he wanted, even if it meant being an honorary coach. I think it may be hard for him to watch the game knowing that he can't play anymore. He just wants to quit and go fishing instead. Ed and I said that we were proud of him for trying. He may go to practice on Saturday and we'll see after that. I don't want to make him do anything that he doesn't feel like doing. I just don't know what else I can do for him except be there for him and comfort him. Some days are just so hard.