Life Is Good – Brandon Crawford
It’s been great to be in contact with a lot of you through Twitter (@bcraw35). Sorry to have disappeared from the blogosphere. But I’ve been busy relaxing. It’s taken up most of my time. It’s one of my favorite things, and I’m good at it.
I’m exaggerating but not much.
Today, actually, I visited Casa Colina, a rehabilitation hospital in Pomona. It’s where Jalynne’s father, John, recovered from the traumatic brain injury he suffered in Australia during the 2000 Olympics, where Jalynne’s sister Jamie was competing on the U.S. gymnastics team. A bus ran a red light and hit the taxi John and his oldest daughter Jennifer were riding in. She had minor injuries, but he suffered a fractured skull, bruised brain, two collapsed lungs, fractured left wrist, bruised vertebra and trachea injury. He was in a coma for a week. It was five weeks before he was stable enough to leave the hospital in Sydney. Then he put in18 long months of rehab at Casa Colina.
I visited Casa Colina last season during the All-Star break and, like then, I came away today in awe of the courage and perseverance of people dealing with tragedy. I met men today who had been injured in Afghanistan. One had been shot in head. I met a teenaged-looking kid in a wheelchair who can’t talk and can barely move his hands. Yet he managed to give me a thumb’s-up for the World Series. I was glad Jalynne’s father came with us. He’s a great example of the power of the human mind and spirit to heal. The brain injury prevents him from driving or working, but otherwise you’d never know what he went through.
I love Jalynne’s parents like my own. We’re living with them in Southern California for the time being. They had an extra room where they’re helping us set up the nursery for the baby, who’s due in a little over a week. We have the crib, changing table, playpen. Our plan is to spend Christmas Eve down here then drive up Christmas day to spend time with my family in Pleasanton. We’ll probably stay five or six days there. In mid-January, I’ll go to Arizona for conditioning camp. Then there’s FanFest in early February. Then spring training. Then Opening Day!
I’m learning that when you keep playing through the last game of the World Series, the off-season can go by pretty quick. So that’s why I’m relaxing really hard, trying to cram as much in as possible between movies and miniature golf. And now I’m working out, too. There’s no getting around the fact I’m in a physical business. I took two weeks off after the parade then got back into the gym.
The highlight of the off-season so far was the getaway to Ojai Sunday through Tuesday of this week. Jalynne and I stayed in a resort there to celebrate our first wedding anniversary. Major relaxing.
I was thinking about what an amazing 12 months it’s been. I married my best friend. Became the starting shortstop on the team I rooted for as a child. Won the World Series. Rode in a ticker-tape parade through my home city (with my parents and three sisters in the trolley in front of Jalynne and me). And I’m about to become a father.
Not sure I want 2012 to end.
Except that 2013 looks like it will be a pretty good one, too. We’ll have the baby. Almost all of my Giants’ teammates will be back. And I get to play in the best ballpark in the world with the best fans. Life is good.