July 18, 2009

angel in the outfield

Greg was pitching in a little league tournament 4 months after my grandfather died in 2005. Greg was only 9 when he announced before the championship game that he was going to pitch to win the tournament for Grampa Hoddie. And...he did. So now, when I ask for help from above during the nail biter games, I'm not asking god for assistance with striking out a tough hitter or giving Greg a little extra power in his bat...I am asking my grandfather. It is quite common for me to ask (ok, beg) my grandfather during a clutch situation to help make something happen. Because, I know if he could do something he would. Yesterday we played two games and split, so going into today we had to win both in order to move onto the championship game of the league tournament. Greg didn't pitch the first day of the tournament and ended up getting hit in the wrist in the second game. He sat out the last couple innings and went to the ER for x-rays. Nope, not broken...but "no sports until monday". Ummm...yeah, right. He's gotta PITCH or there will be no "monday". Needless to say, we taped him up, medicated him up and he was ready to go. Or was he? Three quarters of the way to Valley Falls, he said he needs to throw up and we should pull over. He makes sure we know that it is not because he is sick. He is nervous. He has been *itching all the way down about needing music to get him psyched for the game. I was wondering why the kid that warmed up to be a goalie for hockey to brittney spears "hit me baby one more time" was being so choosy this morning. Instead of becoming frustrated myself...I decided to play "When I Look to the Sky" by train which is sort of my theme song when I want to think about my grampa. The usual needless bickering in the backseat subsided and a calmness came over all of us. Soon we were at the ballpark. Greg pitched great and hit a 3 run out of the park homer to help himself secure the first win they needed to advance. Moments like that make me feel for sure that my grandfather is with us.

He would have gotten just as big of a kick out of Reagan searching for the home run ball for her brother. A sign that we must be basking in some sort of serenity from above. I followed Reagan as she set out on a run to find the ball for her brother. When we got out behind the fence, she was the one to spot the ball hiding in tall grass on the other side of a swampy creek. I told her we would never be able to get it without landing in the water. She said NO, we would have to find a branch to fish the ball closer to us so that she could reach out and get it. We found a very long but not very dead hanging branch. I twisted and twisted it but it would not break off. I told Reagan, it wont break off, we arent going to be able to get the ball. She said "We are NOT giving up, I AM GETTING THAT BALL FOR MY BROTHER!" So in the 85 degree heat...I twisted and twisted the branch until it finally let go and we managed to get the ball within reach of Reagan who had to brace herself on the bank of this little creek in order to succeed. She was so proud to present the ball to her brother who appeared surprised by how important it was to his sister that she got it for him. I think I even heard him say thank you.


Cedar ... said...

Nice story today,... and I certainly believe in those kind of angels, absolutely, certainly .. for sure! Congrats to Reagan for that great job getting the ball!

Allison said...

Gramp will be off the Michigan next week, I'm sure!