This was supposed to be about birds and keeping your kids in touch with nature, but that will have to wait. This has nothing to do with being a dad, but I have to say something.
Today (I'm writing this on Thursday), Gary Carter died.
The Hall of Fame catcher made baseball fun for me as a kid growing up. I loved the Expos. I was very sad when they traded him to the rival Mets. Gary was jovial, proud, gregarious, and talented.
I remember driving into Montreal with my brother the day he announced his retirement. For several years we tried to make it to Montreal for at least one weekend. We saw him on the field that day, the second last one of the season, but we didn't stay for the final game of the season when he doubled to win the game and end his career.
I have a picture of him that I took that day. He's talking to his long time team mate, then with the Cubs, Andre Dawson. The two of them no doubt laughing about days of youth and energy and potential and about what lay ahead. I sent it to him to get signed and he graciously did.
I have a heavy heart, even though this has been coming for months. Gary's daughter has been posting semi-regular updates and I checked it as recently as yesterday wondering what was new, since the last post, four weeks ago, had been very disheartening. This is really hard to take. One of my heroes is dead. Heroes don't die do they?