Adam Dzialo

Adam Dzialo
Our son, Adam Dzialo, age 30

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Adam's Sox...

A pic for all you Sox fans!

       In 1998, just weeks before Adam's near-drowning accident, he attended his first Boston Red Sox Game with his Little League All-Star Team.  When he returned that evening, he told us it was the best day of his life.  So, thirteen years later, we decided to return to Fenway to recreate the experience for him and jog the old memory banks.  This certainly was a great day.  This certainly was a traumatic day. We have recovered.
      We were prepared to be in Boston for a 1:00 pm game.  Of course, at the last minute the Bruins won the Stanley Cup (like I care, but many of my Canadian friends probably are mortally wounded) and scheduled their victory parade for the same day and same time as the game (duh!). The Sox, not thinking of our predicament at all, moved the game until 7:10.  Mind you, Adam is usually in bed by 8:30.
       So we went...Adam in the van on an inflatable bed to avoid prolonged sitting in the damned wheelchair. Almost fell off the bed several times on the way (Mom was practically sitting on him to keep him secure), Dad couldn't find the parking lot that we had reserved a space for the van (at only a 60.00 fee), and daughter was giving incoherent direction by cell to Dad who was flipping out.  Made it there just on time.

Adam, bearer of the borrowed rings.

         Our host was super gracious.  Carl Beane, the Red Sox announcer since 2003, met us at the players' gate and gave Adam his two World Championship rings from 2004 and 2007 to wear.  Pictures of course, but we had to give the rings back.
         We were given a tour of Fenway Park including all the back alleys and the green monster (the wall for  all you non-Sox fans).  Viewed years of memorabilia and  I suppose a lot of people would find this cool.  I would rather have a beer!
Adam, Carl Beane (our uber-gracious host) on the field.
Aimee, feigning an interest in the wall of heroes.
       Then it was on to the old autograph frenzy.  Thank god, Ken Lynes was with us.  Also, Joanne Stafford worked hard behind the scenes to make this all happen for Adam.  Ken had no problem calling some of those players over to sign balls and cards for Adam.  This is not an easy trick during batting practice, but he was not to be over-looked and kept pointing out the kid in wheelchair.  That tactic always works.  I'll have to remember this strategy for the future.
Ken badgering Adrian Gonzalez for autographs for Adam as me and the kid watched in awe.

Ken cajoling Adrian Gonzalez to sign THREE cards and a ball for Adam.
I gotta learn from this guy!

       Having started the tour at 4:00 and the game wasn't till 7:00, we had time to kill and sweat in the heat.  Adam sweated despite all our efforts to hydrate and keep him cool.  Since the accident, his temperature gauge has never served him well.  He's cold when it's hot, hot when it's cold....aarhh!
Made Adam a tent to keep him out of the sun....didn't work well, in fact, not at all.
       So by 6:00, the kid was moaning like something was wrong.  He was soaked with sweat and probably other stuff and needed a change of clothes.  So we're sitting at field level in pricey seats and asked an usher or security person (really an idiot) which bathroom or utility room we could use to change him.  Uh?  "Do you both have to been in the bathroom with him?"  Yes, dumbass, try to change a spastic 25 year old who is in a wheelchair alone.  Well, he tells me, there are handicapped stalls in the women's room, but you can't go in there.  Close your eyes, asshole, and we won't tell if you don't.  He walked away and the three of us used the women's room to some uncool looks.  He said, "I didn't see anything!"  Great!
       We lasted until the 5th inning when the boy started to moan incessantly with mournful looks at Mom ... too much chair time.  You know, non-verbal kids can moan and whine quite articulately. The high point was that his most favorite player was on the field two feet away from him the whole game.  It's not like Adam was interested in the game, but he didn't take his eyes off this player for 5 innings and the player fully engaged him. This was the high point of his day.
Our hero, the Red Sox bat girl chatting with the boy!

       So we got Adam back in the van and laid him out on his air mattress...relief for all of us.  The moaning stopped and we crossed the bridge back to our beloved island at 10:30.  I'm not leaving the Cape again...ever.
Family time in an empty Fenway Park....farewell!

Photography: through the kind assistance of Tony Iannotti (except the more crappy pictures taken  by me)

The ball......



  1. Phil, a few thoughts. Need I remind you that it was a French Canadian Bruins fan who alerted you to the Sox game time change last Thursday on your FB wall.

    Funny post and great pics, but you and your family were definitely out of your comfort zone, and I can relate to it from one aspect. First of all, I am a Sox fanatic but rarely go to Fenway because of my crowd phobia. It was really a big deal for me to attend Bruins rally, but it was historical moment and I wanted to be there. I guess I do a lot better with 1.5 million than 35,000 people. I also have recent enough memories of the ordeal it can be traveling with someone totally dependent (babies and children),but our society thankfully has accommodated us with diapering facilities for little tikes, but I guess still lagging when it comes to total care adults with special needs. Not that I am more thoughtful than any of your other readers, but I am a nurse by profession, and I wondered about the toileting and changing accommodations for Adam prior to your trip. In retrospect, wish I had said something, but I did not want to contribute to you changing your mind as you were already annoyed (more accurately pissed) with time change. With regard to your “blindsiding” request for bathroom facilities and accommodations, I can’t believe this was the first time Sox have run into this situation. I guess we still have a long way to go.

    In deference to your not wanting to leave the Cape again, I will work toward having Adam getting a photo op with Bruins player (s) and hardware (trophies) down the Cape. Hockey is his favorite sport, and goalies his position. Will shoot for goalie and Stanley Cup MVP Tim Thomas. And besides, the Bruins owe you one. They need to make it up to Adam for disrupting his schedule and being bounced around in the back of the van.

  2. Wow Adam!...looks like YOU had a great time...your Dad never mentioned who your favorite player is (the one just feet away ont he playing field who engaged you)...and how come yourparents didn't take you to the BRuins parade too, I mean you are a hockey palyer as well????

    nice pics...did you get a beer under homelpate????

  3. Anonymous: Her name was KIM. If we also went to the Bruins parade at 11:00 we would all be hospitalized. And a big YES to the beer at homeplate (at least a sip to prevent dehydration). Adam is 25 after all, not that that matters. He gets whatever he way or another.

    Richard: I'm not going to shave until you get Tim Thomas to come to our house with the Stanley cup for pictures. By the way, not shaving because of your "promise" will piss my wife off.

  4. Wonderful story! Being an avid Red Sox fan, I can understand why you wanted Adam to relive the experience. But, it was no easy task - thank God you have such a great sense of humor. I bet it wasn't so funny at the time! You are an amazing family.
    Susan Christiano

  5. Thanks for the comment, Sue. Get my sense of humor from my son, Adam. He laughs at the most inappropriate stuff and is totally irreverent...he's a great teacher!

  6. I relate all too well to the amount of effort it takes to do this sort of stuff with our kids.

  7. Well, I think that we should send our kids to summer camp so that we could share the experience with others......

  8. Despite the fatiguing aspect I was very proud of your endeavor, a "day of days" (movie quote).
    Absoutely fantastic, thanks for the post.

  9. Dear Phil,

    I so loved the photos, they were truly MAGIC! Loved every single one.

    The feeling of not wanting to do something again EVER, I can so relate to....I know how much effort that is, and I think you guys are truly amazing. Although I have to say that the Red Sox looked pretty truly amazing day and I like Eric was very proud of you all.

    Your line "Do you both have to been in the bathroom with him?" Yes, dumbass..." was a total classic.

    I really think you should write a book, on your one liners with special needs, as, well I wouldn't mind a copy!

    Totally loved the post and really loved your family farewell photo.

    Sending you a special afterwards hug xxxoooxxx


  10. It was a great day, Mel, with the exception of the heat, the sun, the dehydration, the pain in Adam's back and sacrum, the sweats, the lack of real handicap bathroom facilities and the eight dollar which I had to share with Sharon and Adam. The good things were......

  11. Inflatable wheelchair cushions--do you have/use them?

    For sun/heat--umbrella works best, light in color, keep it close to the head so people behind do not have an obstructed view. For overheating, water on thin skin will cool the blood fastest. Put water on towel and put towel on neck. Also, portable fan, battery operated, to evaporate sweat/water. If you can find a novelty hat with the fan in it, those aren't bad. Also, those neck coolers with the fan in it help.


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