Sunday, April 1, 2012

The Love of the Game

Even though I'm "movin on" with my life,  Eddie (and his death) will always be a part of me.  I'll always feel a sense of sadness that he's not here anymore.  I'm sure there will still be times when I get mad about what happened.  I will always wonder what my life would have been like if he had lived.  And I will continue to have regrets - not regrets over what I did or didn't do, but regrets about the things that Eddie isn't here to see and be a part of.  He hurt his family and friends tremendously by taking his own life, but in the long run he hurt himself more than anyone else. He deprived himself of the chance to experience so many things that he would have enjoyed and that would have made him happy and proud.

One of my favorite pictures is of Eddie holding our granddaughter Emily when she wasn't quite a year old.  We were at a softball game where he and Trey had played together on the same team.  She was holding her hand up like she was waving, and he looked so proud.  Emily started going to softball games when she was just a few weeks old.  Before she was old enough to even know what she was doing she would clap her hands and squeal during the games.  When she started using a walker she would roll herself right up to the fence and watch like she knew exactly what was going on.  Now five years later, Emily is playing softball herself.  I've been to her first two games, and the experience was priceless! 

If you've never watched a team of 5-6 year old girls playing softball, you don't know what you're missing.  Competition hasn't become a factor yet, so they're all out there just to have fun, and they provide as much enjoyment for the spectators as they do for themselves ... half of the team going after the ball in the field, running from home to second after a hit, going from third to the dugout when the coach says go home, sitting on the infield building dirt piles, standing on top of home plate when it's time to bat ... all priceless images.  When Emily goes up to bat though, she's very serious.  She has her stance just right, the way her daddy has taught her.  I've watched Trey practice with her in the yard and it's like watching Eddie work with him over 20 years ago.  I can only imagine how much enjoyment Eddie would get out of watching Emily play softball.  He was a great player, he passed his love and talent on to Trey, and now it's being passed on to Emily.  I don't know how long she'll play or what kind of player she'll turn out to be, but this is an experience that Eddie shouldn't be missing.  I'm thankful that I'm able to be a part of it for however long it lasts.

"Maybe we could spend a moment at the end of each day and decide to remember that day - whatever may have happened - as a day to be grateful for.  In so doing we increase our heart's capacity to choose joy."  Henri J. M. Nouwen

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