Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Win and Lose

The gym feels like home to me.  I've been in a gym most years of my life in some form or another.  From crawling on the bleachers to playing Barbies, lying down and reading a good book, even sleeping on the bleachers, I've spent my fair time in a gym. 

I'm pretty comfortable there, too.  Done a lot of cheering and clapping and yelling and crying in a gym.  Pacing on the sidelines.  Hanging signs.  Yep, you might call me a gym rat.

Tonight, I sat in a gym and tried to contain myself.  I've never really liked close games.  When I cheered, close games usually found me with my back turned or my fingers crossed or me running down the sideline as the football player ran down the field... yeah, I was that cheerleader.  It's even harder for me to stay calm now.  My blood pressure goes up and I can feel my heart racing.  I get sick to my stomach. I know it's crazy, but I have this visceral reaction when the game gets good...

So tonight, there I sat.  There's not much more exciting than a good volleyball game.  Especially when you have two teams who really want to win and a crazy coach that jumps clear off the ground, then turns around to me with a little smile in his eyes as he rubs his head.  That serve goes over the net, and then they volley, and volley, and volley some more.  The crowd is going wild, these kids above me that I cheer for on Friday nights cheering... and we are on opposite sides of the fence on  this one. 

The joys of living in a small town. Everyone knows everybody. And those girls on one side of the net, in the blue and white, those are people I know... sweet girls who serve Caleb his chicken nuggets at McDonalds and make sure his order is right.  Girls who have come back from injuries to leave it all on the court. Girls I don't know but I admire...

But then, on the other side of the net, are my girls.  Sweet and sassy, Caleb's "sisters". I've watched them roll their eyes at Wallace and yell at Caleb to "Stop" just like they would their own brothers.  I've watched them grow and improve and come together as a team.  I saw the hunger in their eyes and know how bad they want it... and let's be honest, how bad that crazy Coach wants it, too.  And I want it... a win for them. 

And so they volley some more. Dig in and dive for the ball.  Hit it back inbounds even when it looks like it's going to go out.  And the coach yells and jumps, and my heart pounds and I really feel like I'm going to throw up. 

And in the end, my girls pull it off. That crazy coach pumps his fist, and the crowd is cheering.  We go through town in a parade...

and I'm drawn back to when I was in high school and cheering and how wonderful it is to be young.  My boy is on the bus, I'm sure with his head  hanging out a window, and the sirens are going and the lights and the girls are yelling.  We drive down Hwy 15, and then past the funeral home...

I'm faced with the realization of how life is, from celebration and life to sorrow and death.  I say a silent prayer for Jami and Jenn as we drive by, a sudden heaviness in my heart.  Life's like that... one moment you're up on a mountain and the next you don't know which direction you're even supposed to go.

And the moment passes, and the bus continues, and before I know it I'm at home with my boys.  Reliving the night and bragging about my girls... but always remembering that undercurrent.  May we always appreciate the moment, the little moments that make life worth living.

To my volleyball girls, I love you.  You're my girls, whether you know it or not... we're family.  I'm so proud of how far you've come and I know there are great things in store for the future.  Keep that dream alive... dream big and act on it, work hard and realize it.

and to Jami and Jenn, and all of Debbie's family.  I love you.  I know how you watched your Mom struggle.  It seems callous to compare a game to life and death but that's really how it is.  We win a few volleys and then someone spikes it down our throat.  Your Mom fought a good fight.  She's ran her race.  These words aren't adequate, but I am so sorry for your loss.  I'm thinking of you. 

To everyone else, cherish the moment.  Life is too short not to.  Enjoy every sweet victory, because we usually end up with more losses than wins.  And remember that even if we don't know the game plan, there's a Heavenly Coach that does.  I'm glad He's got more figured out than my favorite Coach on earth =)

No comments:

Post a Comment