“Baseball Bill,” Friend, Mar. 2016, 4–5
Saturday was finally here. It was time for our surprise adventure!
“I hope we’re going to the trampoline park,” I shouted from the backseat. Mom wouldn’t tell us where we were going, but the street we were on looked familiar. …
Then it hit me. We were going to the care center. Our school class had gone there a few times. We each had a “grandparent buddy” to talk to and play games with. My buddy was named Bill, and he was pretty cool.
But not as cool as a trampoline park, I thought as Mom pulled into the parking lot. When my brother saw the red and tan building, he groaned.
“This is going to be the worst day ever!” he grumbled. “This isn’t a fun adventure at all.”
Mom looked at us from the rear-view mirror. “Oh come on, give it a shot. By the time we’re through, you just might change your mind.”
I didn’t say anything. I wasn’t so sure. I helped Mom carry bags of small quilts into the lobby. It felt calm and peaceful inside.
“Do you know why I like coming here?” Mom asked. I shook my head.
“I feel the same way here as when I see new babies at the hospital,” she said. “Like I’m close to heaven.”
Close to heaven. I liked that.
We showed the receptionist at the front desk the quilts we wanted to hand out, and he led us to a room where we could visit.
“Is Bill still here?” I asked. “The one who’s married to Ruth and likes baseball?”
One of the workers nodded. “Oh, yes! Bill is still here. We sure love him.”
We started talking with some of the people, and it was actually pretty interesting hearing about their lives. And after a while, I saw Bill sitting in his wheelchair.
He didn’t look like he remembered me, but that was OK. I picked out a small quilt with a baseball pattern and laid it on his lap.
“He gets cold a lot, and that will really help him,” said one of the workers standing nearby. “His wife will be happy to see it. She comes to visit him every day.”
Our visit wasn’t long, but it was long enough to see Bill smile. On our way out, we read a piece of paper posted on Bill’s door that told some fun things about his life. We learned that he grew up on a farm and learned to play baseball from his stepmother.
“Hey, Mom, look!” I pointed to a line on the paper. “He was so good at baseball that he was going to sign on with a professional team! But then he served in the military instead.” It was neat to learn a bit more about Bill.
Soon we were back in the van, buckling our seatbelts.
“So?” Mom asked us. “What did you think?”
I smiled. “I actually had fun. And I feel really happy. I think it’s because we helped Bill.”
As Mom drove home, we talked about different ways we can show people love and how the Spirit tells us when we are making good choices. We were all feeling so great that we decided to go back and visit another day.
What a great day! I thought as we pulled into our driveway. It was a fun adventure after all.