Every year the biggest sign of spring, summer and all the good that comes with it is Red Sox opening day. The day has a lot more meaning to me than just baseball and sunshine though.

Sure the snow is melting and everything's looking more bright and green. The boys of summer are back and in Massachusetts/New England that's a big deal! I'm always excited for opening day for those reasons just like everyone else, but there's a little more to it for me.

Growing up, my house was all about Red Sox baseball. The house lived and died by the final score. Everyone was a fan. My grandfather didn't even know that much about baseball, but would at like it was doomsday and want to trade everyone on the team if they lost one game out of 162. The biggest fan though was my grandmother. Nana woke up every opening day with the light of a child on Christmas.

You see baseball was in her blood. Her father could have played for the Boston Braves way back when, but his wife told him "You're not going to go out there and just play a child's game all the time." That was that. He never went to the Braves, but that love of baseball was passed along.

Now Nana would walk into the room every opening day decked out in her Red Sox gear. She'd sit at the dining room table and chat about the lineup, who was starting and why it'd be a great season. There were few moments in my life where I've seen someone so upbeat, happy and positive. It was honestly some of the best times I've ever had. I can even remember in 2004 when the Sox were making their run to break the curse, some of my friends and I couldn't remember the name of the opposing third baseman. She scoffed at us and named him and gave us basically his entire statline for the season and the series. She was no joke.

Even as Nana got older she still would practically skip her way to the living room to watch the first game of a brand new season for the Sox. It wasn't until 2014 that she actually saw the inside of Fenway Park in person. Crazy right!? How can you grow up in Boston and never get into Fenway! For her birthday that year we took her into Fenway for a tour and I'll never for the rest of my life forget the day I saw the biggest smile in history.

Ever since she passed the next year I've held onto that big smile and remember it every opening day. It's a reminder of what's great about sports and what's great about family. It's a reminder that despite Spring, Summer and baseball bringing the bright weather it can also bring out so much more.

Cheers to another new season Nana! As always, "I think they got what it takes this year."