Making meaning in the face of loss helps to ease the pain, if only a little. After losing my son, I started seeing the connected nature of everything. Like the yellow tubing on baseball fences... and how it's connected to passion, honesty and life.
This month marks 7 years since my son left this earth. He was killed on September 27, 2008, at the age of 12 years old.
Some of the people reading this probably knew Zarse while others might not have known him. For those who didn’t, I should explain that Zarse was passionate about sports, particularly baseball. On just about any summer day, you could find him on the field or in the back yard, practicing and practicing more. In spite of having exercise-induced asthma, he regularly ran 2-4 miles per day. He pushed himself when others were sleeping. He didn’t just want to be great; he wanted to be the best. He dreamed of playing for the Texas Longhorns and he was determined to get there.
The other day, my other two children and I visited the park. We pulled up near the baseball fields and my eyes were drawn to the bright yellow tubing that lines the tops of the baseball field fences. Tears welled up in my eyes. How many times had I sat near similar fences with their yellow tubing, watching him play and cheering him on? How many times had he smiled and ran the bases after he hit one over the yellow tubing? Baseball was so much a part of Zarse, seeing those fences was like encountering a little piece of him.
What is the lesson in this sorrow? Perhaps it is to notice that Zarse was so true to his authentic self that even the sight of something related to his passion brings him instantly to mind. What if we all lived like that? What if we got so in touch with who we are and we live so true to it, that our passion enters the room before we do? If we live so honestly that we inspire other people to do the same…..
I am convinced that I birthed my children to learn from them, as much as I birthed them so that they would learn from me. I am amazed at the transformations and lessons my children have inspired in me. And I hope something here inspires you, too.
So, the next time you see those baseball fences with the yellow tubing on top, ask yourself…. What if we all lived like that?
2-Minute Takeaway (Journal Prompt): What is one thing I want to be known for?