Courtesy of the Denver Post | 07.12.15 | Woody Paige
Woody Paige recounts his mother’s last at-bat
Woody and his family. Woody on the left, his father, and mother and sister. Photo provided by Woody Paige.
Woody and his family. Woody on the left, his father, and mother and sister. Photo provided by Woody Paige.

“Follow my lead, oh, how I need someone to watch over me.”

— George & Ira Gershwin

 Mom always has watched over me.She wasn’t feeling so good again a couple of weeks ago.

So we went to the hospital for the 17th time in the past three years. (She kept count in her journal.) Billie Paige has been battling cancer like Troy Tulowitzki battling Clayton Kershaw’s curveball, and she had fouled off 16 nasty pitches. I use the comparison only because she loved baseball, especially Tulo and the Rockies.

I took her to her first major-league game when she moved from Memphis to Denver in 2008, and she was hooked. She bought a Rockies cap; I got Mom a jersey with the No. 1 and her name on the back. She proudly wore both when she saw some games in person and the rest on TV.

While we were in her room at Rose Medical Center, as she talked to the doctor and waited for surgery once more, my mother asked if the Rockies had won, and I shook my head. “Our boys try hard. You ought to be kinder to them,” she said. It was a demand, not a request.

I made my usual smart-aleck, quasi- funny remark to her doctor, and Mom — with her sweet, syrupy Southern accent you could pour on a sopapilla, said: “Son, I don’t want to be argumentative, but most people just don’t get your sense of humor.”

“You’re right, ma’am.”

Mom always has been right, and all right.  Continue Reading