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Avra Amar Filion

Memories- isn’t that what our life comes down too. I had a wonderful flashback today. I found one of my old photo albums from when I was a little girl while I was packing some boxes.

I found the baseball tickets to the very first game my dad took me too, I couldn’t help but giggle but then I got depressed. Why you may ask?

It all has to do with a toonie. Yes a toonie!

Short form of the story. I remember I was sitting on the staircase and my papa came up to me and kneeled and said “Angel you and I are going to have a date, your gonna become a big girl, I am gonna take you to your first baseball game.”

I was so thrilled!! I was happy about the game but I was honored because it was just him and I. (it wasn’t my first game, it was the first one of just him and I)

I felt special because he took both my older sisters to basketball games as their first game but he had a passion for baseball and he thought I would one day share the same.

That alone made me feel like a big girl. He said we would leave in an hour as he put a BlueJays baseball cap on my head. I went upstairs got all pretty, I put on my best over-alls and waited anxiously.

Papa finally came and said “ready princess?” I jumped to his leg (I was little, I was only 5) I said “YES.. YES.. YES”… I found my cool, as I recollected myself, a classy young girl doesn’t behave in such a manner. We got into the car that smelled like vanilla, had about an hour drive as my papa told me about his glory days in baseball and how glad he felt he could share it with me. We parked the car but stilled had to walk about 20 minutes in the cold to the dome because every parking lot was filled.

Papa told me to hand the ticket man my ticket as now I was a big girl, we got to our seats, I felt like I had to go pee, ended up I had too because I got too excited about hearing how the roof opens, and fireworks happen. So anyways I refused to leave my seat, the game was about begin… the players on the field practicing; Pitching and catching.

I felt like I was in the game… the fat man next to me eating a jumbo dog, the crying baby in the daddy’s arm in front of me, his little boy with a massive foam finger. I felt so mature; I reached a new point in life “sharing bond”, that only happens when a papa takes his little girl to her first game.

The game starts! Ohh the smell, the energy, passion, excitement was in the air as the first pitch was given. My dad started to explain the game to me, he sometimes got too caught up and forgot to tell me what was happening but that was alright I picked up most of it, especially by his facial expression.

Fresh roasted peanuts, popcorn, candy, ice cream, jumbo dogs, beer, coca cola running up and down the aisle— my papa asked me if I wanted something. I got a Eskimo cake and a pop; as the man handed back my papa his change there was a shiny new toonie and I remember how he hold it in his hand for a few minutes and put it in his right pocket of his shirt.

As I unwrapped my cake he told me to eat it slowly because this one was special, that I would never taste an Eskimo cake just as good. HE WAS TOTALLY RIGHT!! Blue Jay’s home run…. My dad screaming.. the fat man hitting his chest like George Of The Jungle as his arms went up and down, I don’t think he knew how to handle his excitement for the game.

It was true, the thing I had been waiting for– the roof started to slide to both sides as it started to open… my papa picked me up in his arms and the fireworks started. Breathless I was. We called it a night… we walked through the tunnels.. he took the shiny toonie out of his pocket and he stopped me and he said “Angel. My little girl. I want you to remember this night, it will mean something to you when you get older, you will look back and smile, remember the smell, and how you felt when the roof opened, all of it”.

Thing is, he didn’t know that I appreciated that moment at that time as much as I do now, one of the greatest days of my life. He took the toonie and told me to not spend it or to lose it but to cherish it and save it as a memory of that great day. I took hold of that toonie- saw how it shined, I squeezed it so hard as we walk back to the car, never wanting to lose it.

I ran my fingers over every protruding ling with my eyes closed and open to see if it looked the same as it felt.

We arrived home, I ran upstairs, I neatly put away my new hat and clothing… sat on my queen size floral princess bed, I took my toonie and without thinking I placed it in a massive jar of shiny toonies I had been saving from chores… a toonie a week.

I had the tendency, okay more like compulsion to make all my money squeaky clean. After I walked away from the jar- a few seconds later, I realized what I had done… I ran back but I no longer could pick it out of the hundreds of toonies I had save for the poor.. I felt my heart ache. It was the same day and I had lost something so precious to me. I picked up all the toonies from the upper layer, feeling each one trying to see if I could pick out the only one that meant something to me.

Till this day it bothers me I lost it. That is why I was so joyest and yet depressed. Like a common everyday epiphany, I realized that sometimes things could look the same, feel the same, be the same in every way….. but its not what it is….. Its the meaning, the beauty of the uniqueness of that one individual thing and doesn’t matter how many you have that are similar in every way…… ITS NOT, not at all the same.

It’s how it takes you back to that special place and you remember the smells and the sounds, it makes you smile, and you know that you could never replace that object with another.

And sometimes we consciously or subconsciously may lose it or let go of this thing and we will regret it forever.!!! I remember, I thought to myself…. well I could take one of the many toonies and say it was that one but I knew it wasn’t, so I go even more depressed.

I was afraid to go to my dad because I had let him down by losing it, but I built up the courage to tell him that I had let him down, while hoping he could fix it… make me feel better. He looked at me as my eyes filled up with tears, he took another toonie and said, “here this could be the lucky toonie.” I looked at him, I said no to it, I didn’t take it for I knew it wasn’t the same.

That’s the thing about me, when I decide something is special to me, I will never replace it, I will never substitute it, get a better one, I would not have even taken a 10 dollar bill in its place….. I couldn’t pretend that it would be anything as special or unique as that one toonie was to me. My papa so sweet… always looking for the best for me, making sure I am always happy; he tried to give me a cop-out… what happened, I got even more depressed.. I didn’t want a cop-out.. I wanted my toonie.!!!

I think its like all things in life, we lose the only thing that had meaning, that carried our happiness with it, and when we lose it….… we lose a little part of ourselves. (Sounds dramatic I know.. but from a tender age of 5 its objects that we hold dear, and the older we get it may remain objects, but also people who made us feel better about ourselves and we know because its that still voice inside that says “they are the one!”. an environment, even dreams, ideas of a life that could have been but was lost. Expectations not met. the list can go on and on.) -{ what’s sad is sometimes we purposely let got of it because we feel we don’t deserve it, or we don’t know how to keep it! not taking the chance to know you have found the perfect match}

We can’t replace this thing or fully be contented just living with its memory, we need it. I remember laying on my bed.. replaying that day over and over again; how my papa smiled, cheered, even how he ate his Eskimo cake, how the players hugged each other. How could one toonie that I had only been with me for a few hours… the same as every other toonie, mean so much? Well the heart can’t explain, but I guess it was the one thing I didn’t expect to get…. for my dad to give it to me.

I think it’s like every thing else in life… what we least expect is the best… we just have to decide to cherish it. I guess that’s why serendipity is so promising and the most written about form of love. I can’t describe in words how utterly perfect that day was..

I pray when you find something that has meaning, you won’t be as foolish as me and put it among other worthless replicas, where you no longer can point it out. That you cherish it, redeem it, and protect it for all the days of your life.

Final note- for all of you to think about. That’s how God sees every one of His children as unique and as special as brilliant toonies. Never forget that.