Guest Blogger Mom here again.
Sports, sports, sports…they drove much of the activity in our home. Six children times two sports, sometimes three each, for twenty-five years is more of an investment of time than I am hardly willing to admit without therapy of some sort. I’m deeply aware that our priorities may have been somewhat skewed at times but I am also keenly mindful that both in the arena of life or perched on the periphery sidelines all of those years were some deeply forged life lessons, magnificent moments and wonderfully forged relationships. There is something about competing on a team that drives home some of the most basic life lessons, the engagement with others is raw and honest, vulnerability and humility are both woven into the human fabric often forced in uncomfortable ways. Together you learn things about each other, intimate things, hilarious things. It is in this arena that you grow and grasp and try and make sense out of the fairness of sport and ultimately life. You learn how to pick others up, how to motivate. It introduces you to the very first lessons in dealing with loss, dysfunction, emotion and pride. You celebrate in ways that are rich, memorable, joyful. You learn the very nature of being human while walking through it arm and arm with teammates, you essentially learn how to live in community.
I write all of this because I have seen these same lessons embedded in former teammates transcend time and reach out to Bethany and Kevin to support them in this horrendous life turn of events. They have this unique bond to be able to enter in and say we are with you, battle on my friend. I’ve seen teammates of their siblings reach out and say we are genuinely with you on this ever-important court of life. You will never understand the impact these gestures have have on others when you take time to step into the world of another, even when it is raw and uncomfortable and hard. Cancer changes you, it rocks your world, it has a mind of its own and the rules are not fair, much of it is played out of bounds. It is like the bad call that leads to a free throw for the other team to win the state championship, it is being benched, it is getting cut from the team of life, cut from the normalcy, cut from being allowed to participate on the traveling team of parenthood. It is hard my friends, this is hard, so hard to watch, it is hiding my face, turning my head, not wanting to watch kind of pain.
And then into this pain step moments like this. This weekend Lauren, Bethany’s former teammate and now Coach at North Park University put together an event to honor Kevin, Bethany and Hallie Hope hosted by their basketball team and football team. This is a great hand in, bring it in, slap on the butt and send off to finish the battle. We are all humbled by their thoughtfulness and the magnitude of this gesture. Please know that what you have done speaks volumes into their lives and we are so excited to be back in the stands and hope to see many of you there to put your hands in as well, to say we are with you, hands in everyone, hands in!
I know my God has this all in His hands, I also am confident that, “This happened that the works of God may be displayed though them,” John 9:3 but these tangible acts of support matter, thank you North Park for being His hands during this time!