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Strength to Care

Lessons from Matthew & Isaac – Our CHARGE Syndrome Journey

A Player or a Fan?

As a young boy growing up in a small college town I was like most other boys in that I participated in t-ball, then minor league, then little league until I was old enough for pony league baseball. I was never very good at it, but I did enjoy being part of a team who did well once in a while. I even pitched an inning in an All Star game and did surprising well. Well in that I didn’t hit anyone and struck a few people out.

Detroit Tigers Game

This next week we will enter into the 107th post season of what we know as Major League Baseball. If you are a baseball fan, or even a fan of any sports, nothing is more engaging than the World Series. Over the years we have seen hallmark stadium names being replaced with corporate names, there have been drug and gambling scandals that have scared the game, even for a brief time ladies played the game while the boys were off to war…but the game itself has not changed.

Even though it has been a while since I have actually played the game there is nothing like the feel of a brand new baseball and smell of the leather cover. The feel of a perfectly broken in glove or the solid feel of a bat when a baseball hits it in the sweet spot and the ball launches into the outfield between two fielders. Watching my own kids play the game brings back a flood of memories of younger years.

Baseball, it is said, is only a game. True. And the Grand Canyon is only a hole in Arizona. Not all holes, or games, are created equal. Georg F. Will – editor and news commentator

There is just something about watching dreams come true and watching a series of games where pressure brings out the best in young men who have worked their entire lives for that moment. There are times that I weep that I will not have an opportunity to see a baseball game with my son or take him fishing or hunting and have it be the meaningful, life changing growing experience that is gained from such outings.

I have to admit, I have had something and will continue to have with the three daughters that I have been blessed with, more enriching experiences. I have been able to do all of the things mentioned above with the added “enrichment” of tea parties, the occasional part in a musical in our theater that doubles as a family room, had a toenail or two painted, special dinners and dates to an opera. I have also watched my two oldest blossom into beautiful young women.

You know we just don’t recognize the most significant moments of our lives while they are happening. Back then I thought, well, there’ll be other days. I didn’t realize that that was the only day. Dr. Archibald “Moonlight” Graham – From the movie Field of Dreams

Matthew has and will continue to give us perspective in life that few families get to experience. We have learned, like the game of baseball that the surroundings may change, we may grow older and seasons in our lives change but the game does not. Matthew has been a constant anchor in our lives who keeps us from drifting too far away from who we are as a family…a family that has been entrusted to care for him.

There are three types of baseball players: those who make it happen, those who watch it happen, and those who wonder what happens. Tommy Lasorda –  MLB player and coach

The first few months of Matthew’s life were an emotional roller coaster that we wouldn’t want to repeat again. But, as he gained strength and our resolve to accept the fact the Matthew WAS perfect…maybe not according to the medical community…but certainly to a God who created him and to us, we made a conscious decision to become players, players who make it happen.