Last of the Ninth.
Last of the Ninth I well remember the grueling two-a-day practices in the stifling Mississippi heat, when I played football only because a coach 1 greatly admired thought I should. And I remember the hot gyms in the cold winter nights where 1 spent most of the time riding the bench. But most of all I remember walking confidently to the plate with the bases loaded and the game on the line, fearing no man's high hard fastball or sweeping curve, knowing the outcome even before I watched the line drive fall beyond the reach of the diving outfielder and the runners racing home. But none of that prepared me for this. Nothing I learned from sports, about victory or defeat, success or failure, comes to my aid as I watch my beloved, my greatest fan, forfeit her memories one by one. Today she no longer knows my name, and tomorrow she may not know her own. And we are left standing at the plate, bat still on our shoulder, as the umpire calls strike three. And no one to say it's only a game.
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