Ode to Mr. Ed
By Lisa R. Neilson
In my neighborhood, I am often in the minority. Most of my acquaintances and friends are Yankees fans and, well, who can blame them, right? Everybody loves a winner. I am fortunate enough, though, to share my fandom of the NY Mets with a few family members. This makes it a little more bearable at summer family gatherings; while most guests chat about their team making it to the postseason, we Mets fans discuss our team’s ongoing rebuilding.
One fellow Mets fan I can always count on to commiserate with is my brother-in-law Ed. I have known Ed for almost 20 years now. We’ve shared numerous cups of (strong) coffee, delicious bites of homemade pancakes, and countless stories about our boys in Flushing on his deck in Connecticut. Ed is kind, funny and not the least bit pretentious. If he knew I was writing about him, he’d blush. He is a terrific dad to his four kids, the youngest of whom is my goddaughter, and like me, he has influenced everyone in the house to be a Mets fan, too. He has passed on his love of the game and of his team to his kids, and quite successfully.
Ed and I both married Neilsons; that in itself presents a bit of a challenge sometimes as our spouses have eight other siblings and there’s 20-some nieces and nephews in the bunch. Ed and I joke and call ourselves the outlaws, but in this family everyone is welcomed and loved no matter who you are. The family connection runs deep and so does the love of baseball.
On Ed’s 49th birthday—just this past Tuesday—his doctor told him he had a brain aneurysm that had grown to five times the size of most aneurysms. As you read this, Ed is on the DL awaiting the OR in Connecticut. We are praying he gets relief from the excruciating pain he has been experiencing for days.
If anyone can beat this thing, it’s Ed. He’s got fight and persistence and patience, which makes total sense because he’s been a Mets fan all of his life. Despite the Mets’ collapses and bad acquisitions over the years, he has faithfully cheered his team on.
Anything can happen in baseball; in a matter of minutes, the game can change. Two years ago, I sat with Ed and our families in Citi Field as David Wright belted a long one over the center field fence. That night we spoke of win-loss records, probable trades and a talented pitching prospect named Matt Harvey. Two weeks ago, I wished him a happy Father’s Day and we exchanged a high five over Kirk Nieuwenhuis’ walk-off home run against the Cubs. Today, I pray for Ed and a big win here; if ever one was needed, it’s now. In a matter of minutes, life can change.
Please say a prayer and think good thoughts for my brother-in-law Ed and his full recovery. Let’s go Mets. And let’s go Ed.