Aphasia, Penn State and Cape Cod Baseball

June 8th, 2023, was the third year I had a stroke at Cape Cod. As a result of my stroke, I have aphasia.

My communication has improved my aphasia, but it isn’t perfect.

Every chance I get to talk to someone, I try. Whether it is someone I walk into or someone I see that looks like it would be fun to talk to.

Every summer, I go to Cape Cod for a week each month (June, July, and August). Last week, I was there from June 05th to June 12th. Yep, last Thursday was the “anniversary” of my stroke.

I usually see many of my friends there, and we talk. Every year, I call them via email/text to ensure we can get breakfast, lunch, or dinner to see them. They constantly tell me how much better it has been since they saw me after I had aphasia.

I also saw that the Cape Cod Baseball League started playing this week. I checked the Chatham Anglers roster and saw that one of their players went to Penn State. So I found him on Google and decided to find him on Sunday at their first home game. His name is Tommy Molski, and he is a pitcher. I took his photo on my iPhone so I would find him.

Whenever I force myself to talk to someone, I get nervous. What do I say? I know that as soon as I get nervous, I can’t get my language to express the words. I usually practice what I will say, but I struggle when it comes. You would think by now I should not see a “celebrity.” I see Char Morett-Curtiss and other coaches all the time.

I went to the game to watch the National Anthem and watched the players. I saw the Penn State pitcher immediately. After the anthem, I approached the pitcher’s bullpen and said, “Hi, are you from Penn State?” I had a jacket and a Field Hockey Sweatshirt, so he knew I was a huge Penn State fan. He introduced himself and shook his hand.

I told him I went to Penn State in 1973 and played soccer. I told him to say that I had a stroke three years ago, have aphasia, and that my language has sometimes not to say write words. We talked briefly, and I asked if I could take a selfie. He said absolutely.

I thanked him and told him I would try to see him again during the week of the 4th of July games.

For anyone with aphasia, please give them the confidence to explain and talk whenever you can. Sometimes I write it on paper to get my words written. Every chance you meet someone to tell about aphasia that is one more ability to learn someone about aphasia. It is nervous, but it is also a lot of fun.