His six year old son’s eyes flicker, barely able to stay awake, his head resting on the pillow with blankets tucked up to his chin.
“I want to be a pitcher in the major leagues when I grow up, Dad,” he says, as he falls asleep.
Watching his son sleep, in the silence of the room, he comfortingly says, “Your mum and all four of your grandparents will be there with your Uncle Charles and your Aunt Vera to meet you when you arrive. I cannot go with you right now but I will join you later. My dad loves baseball. He will enjoy having a catch with you, just like he and I did. Your baseball league team uniform, baseball cap, socks and sneakers are in this travel bag with your glove. They will be impressed how smart you look in your baseball uniform. Catch some winks now, not baseballs, before you leave.”
The framed picture with the smiling faces of the team and their coach is proudly displayed on the bedside table.
At the door, he looks back into the room at his son sleeping peacefully, his mind and body temporarily free from pain as he dreams of hitting the ninth inning, game ending, winning home run and the cheers of the crowd as he runs the bases.
Withholding tears, with wavering voice he whispers' “God Bless.”
He approaches the doctor and nurses waiting in the pediatric cancer ward of the Children’s Hospital, with the chaplain there to administer last rites.
He says quietly, “Thank you, Doctor, for allowing me those final moments alone with my son to say goodbye.”