Thursday, December 18, 2014

Anniversary Thoughts

It was one of those nights when nothing we threw up went in. 

Not free throws.  Not layups. Passes got intercepted and shots fell short.

We were moving in slow motion, it seemed...

And everything on the other end went in.

One hand behind your back with your eyes closed...  Ok, maybe I exaggerate, but it sure seemed that way.

As a fan, it's one of those nights when you wish you could do something.

Say something.

Instead, I sit in silence and watch him pace.

The tie has been off since the very beginning and the frustration is palpable.

And they are just kids.

Kids stepping into big roles and kids feeling pressure and kids not knowing what exactly they are supposed to do.

And he stands, stunned...

And they play, stunned.

It's never easy to swallow, this thing called loss.

And when compared to other things in life, it seems so trivial...

I think back to those vows.  "For better or worse. In good times and bad."

On nights when the shots don't fall.

On nights when there are no words for those girls.

When I stood in front of the church 15 years ago and said those words, I knew exactly what I was getting into.

Our inaugural year of marriage was spent in a gym, coaching middle schoolers who were too small for their shorts.

It's kind of like a step-family of sorts.

I married him, and whatever group of kids he's coaching.

And I love them.

That's why it hurts so much.

And I think again about how it is just a game... and aren't games supposed to be fun?

And they are, when we are winning and when everyone is healthy.

Adversity, though is not fun. It's hard and it is bitter to swallow and it can knock the breath out of you. You can feel like it isn't worth it and that you just want to throw in the towel.

It's kind of like marriage.

There are days when I've felt that way.  Days when I don't like him very much.  Moments when I've regretted those vows, when I've second-guessed just what we are doing in this crazy thing called life.

I think back to when we first met, how young we were. 

A senior in high school, I had the world at my fingertips and didn't even know it.

Just like some of those girls on the court.

And in those fifteen years, there have been good days and bad.

We've had missed shots.

We've had turnovers.  We've had breathless moments when we were on top, and moments when the pain and hurt cut deep.

In fifteen years, you change.  You have to relearn your role, adapt.

Just like those girls tonight.  8th graders stepping up.  New roles because of injury.

Sometimes, the shots don't fall...

But you just have to keep shooting.

Just have to keep trusting.

Just have to keep putting one foot in front of the other as you drive into the lane, no matter how many fouls you've got.

I'm not an expert... if anything, I'm someone who knows just enough to be stupid. But I know that in love, you have to take a chance and have to leave your heart out there.

And I'm pretty sure it's the same in a basketball game.


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