living her best life…#33

Last week Pat wasn’t feeling so great. Not because of her chemotherapy treatment, but as a result of the side effects of homeopathic supplements prescribed by her naturopath intended to boost her immune system. It’s always trial and error attempting to learn what works and what doesn’t. 

Since then Pat’s had an awesome experience which I’m certain gave her spirit the boost she needed. No doubt about it.

Just won the Division II State Championship Soccer title!!!

Brad and I are not at the stadium. We watched the game on TV. The team won handily, beating Kamehameha Hawaii from the big Island by 7 to 1. 

It was so cool to see all the boys on TV as well as the parents whenever the cameras panned the crowd. What touched me most was hearing the announcers mention that the white arm bands worn by the boys were for “Aunty Pat.” There was also a colorful poster hanging in the stands which read…Get well Aunty Pat…from da Boys. Seeing that brought a lump to my throat.

Not only did we get to watch the game, but we were also provided dinner by one of the soccer families. Lynn and her son Justin had dropped the meal off earlier in the day. This is the fourth week our soccer friends have provided us with prepared food.

I’m still in awe at the level of support we continue to receive.

The team, along with their families and friends, are celebrating tonight’s win with a big potluck just outside the stadium. Another family took candy leis we’d provided to give to the boys from us. They will be up to their eyeballs in leis…literally! They will probably be bursting with pride as each of them has his picture taken with the trophy. 

Finally, the parents can let out a big sigh of relief. The season is nearing an end. All that’s left is the end-of-the-year banquet which is always tons of fun. It’s what we did last year…and previous ones as well. Can you tell we kinda miss it?

Anyway, just wanted to share this moment as it was quite special and meaningful for both Brad and me.

Chat again soon…

…love you always…

…and all my supporters.

………pat…and hugmamma.

living her best life…#23

Several days ago, Pat emailed me the following which was indeed heartwarming. I’m sure you’ll agree…

A BEAUTIFUL GAME, FOOTBALL…

That’s what they call soccer. I don’t really know why. Perhaps it’s because football is the universal language of sports, played passionately around the world.

Soccer can be brutal just like other sports. However it can also lessen cultural and religious differences since the referee’s call is pretty much absolute.

The other day my sister Mary text me  to say she’d been talking about me with a co-worker. When Mary mentioned that I had multiple myeloma and amyloidosis, the woman said that her son’s soccer team had just been told about someone with the same diagnosis. Upon hearing this the team decided to dedicate its upcoming game, as well as the rest of its season to that person. Thinking it was just too coincidental, Mary asked the person’s name.

Turns out it was me.

The MPI soccer boys wore white armbands in my honor and won the game 9-0!

I don’t know Mary’s co-worker personally. Her son must have moved up to Varsity after my son Aiden graduated. When I heard what the team did, I was so touched. I didn’t know what to say. 

It’s difficult to put into words how thankful I am for all the people…the different circles of friends who are praying for me and my family, and offering to help in any way they can.

The last two years Aiden was in high school, I had been a team parent. Because of that I came to know a lot of other parents really well. It came with the territory. They helped with fundraising, traveling, potlucks and other events, as well as providing drinks and snacks after every scrimmage and every game. And they ALWAYS came through…BEAUTIFULLY!

Because of the parents…the coaches could coach…and the boys could compete. As a result the team won the Division II State Title last year, and have a REALLY good shot at it again this year!

So long as I’m feeling well, my family and I plan to watch the team compete in the state tournament next month. Before then, we might even be able to attend one of their last games.

I’m truly blessed to know all of them…the players…coaches…and especially, the parents who have become such wonderful friends. They are coming through for me again!!!

And to think it all started because our sons played soccer together…

…a game spilling over into real life…

…beautiful indeed!

………pat…and hugmamma.

 

“opens me up,” walking

Just returned from a short walk around the neighborhood. Couldn’t have asked for a nicer day. The sun was warm, but not unbearable. Although I did peel off a layer, a lightweight jacket, opting to wear the thick vest over my thin sweatshirt instead. Wrapping the jacket around my hips, I headed toward the nearby park. As I got closer, I could hear voices and as I rounded the turn, there was an explosion of people having fun.

The tennis court was full, a family of 3 were in the children’s playground, the huge, grassy field was host to several different groups. Baseball was being played by a good, many people, soccer by a handful, La Crosse by a couple of boys. Dogs on leashes, walking their owners; a puppy frolicked, rolling around blissfully in the green blades. Pets are not exempt from having fun in the sun.

Always in evidence on the weekends are a small “army” of young adults dressed in feudal garb doing battle with poles. It’s interesting to observe them at play. At first glance the group may look like goth followers, until they re-enact fight scenes. They look serious at what they’re about. Maybe one day I’ll engage one of them in conversation and find out the group’s history. For now, I’ll just enjoy watching them as I walk by.

Everyone looked like they were having so much fun, oblivious to those around them, or perhaps enjoying that they were part of the bigger celebration of a beautiful day in the park. Deciding to join in, I sauntered over to a swing and started…swinging. Wow, what an adrenalin rush! I was a child again, no cares in the world. Gazing up at the cloudless, pale blue sky, I felt a million miles away. Leaning back into the push off, I rushed forward as though I were 6, not 61. I’m not sure what I looked like to others, but I felt gloriously youthful. There’s a child in all of us, waiting to emerge whenever we let them.

Minutes later, I alighted back on earth, back to reality. Striding away I felt a bounce to my step as I resumed walking, like several other adults, young and old, whom I passed. Nodding with a small smile and a glance in their direction, I felt myself opening up to the warmth of a blossoming, very early, spring day, and the joy of others doing the same. As I continued on my way, I thought  “How wonderful life is, when I open myself up to the  sunshine that pours in on a cloudless day.

Hey! And if I can’t be on a beach in Maui, a park full of sun worshippers will do just fine.

for good weather…hugs, and some…hugmamma.  🙂

a “hand-up”

Soccer doesn’t make my heart race, but my dearest friend, a Brit, absolutely loves the sport. She and her son are aficionados. It was fun to spend time with them one evening, when family and friends gathered to celebrate her birthday at a local restaurant. It was obvious that soccer leveled the “playing field” between generations. Sitting next to one another, they continued to banter back and forth about the recent World Cup results. They both rooted for the Dutch, but heartily disagreed about the Argentinians. My friend refused to believe that they were a team deserving of respect. Her son did his best to cajole her into agreeing that they were. Mom was not to be swayed, and that was that.

Writing in the Wall Street Journal’s “Opinion”, John Harkes, ESPN broadcast analyst and member of the National Soccer Hall of Fame and board member of America SCORES, proposes that soccer be a weapon in our country’s fight against childhood obesity. “…it’s imperative that organized sports like soccer are recognized not just as recreational activities but as educational tools to promote physical health, academics and social skills.”

Beyond the obvious, however, Harkes asks us to look past our borders and witness how revolutionary soccer has been in countries riddled by “racial and ethnic conflict, economic hardship and political strife. In the poorest countries, children play makeshift soccer, kicking around cans. “In the process they acquire sportsmanship, leadership and commitment. Whether it is learning to pass the ball when you could as easily shoot a goal, or shaking hands at the end of a contentious match, soccer teaches life skills. Is this not something America needs too?”

America SCORES uses soccer as a vehicle “…to empower students in the nation’s most under-resourced school districts…”, providing 8 to 13 year olds “…10 times more physical exercise than the national average for their age, improve literacy skills, increase school participation, and spark community engagement by encouraging kids to use teamwork learned on the field to support each other off of it.” Harkes challenges us to “Get an America SCORES program into your kid’s school, or better yet, the one down the road that needs it even more.”

I’d like to take the challenge even further. Americans honor their sports idols with monetary compensation beyond their wildest dreams. There’s no denying they’ve dedicated their entire lives toward that end. Some were potentially high school dropouts. Many saw sports as an escape from a life of poverty for themselves and their families. In rushing to exploit their talents, both the athletes and the businessmen ignore the fact that “You can take the boy out of the country, but you can’t take the country out of the boy.” Our superstars can earn millions, but they haven’t learned how to spend their earnings wisely, and with a lot more heart.

I’ve often felt some of these millionaire athletes could support third world countries. But even closer to home, these super-sports-stars could give a “hand-up” to the less fortunate among their peers.

Ballet, as well as other forms of dance, is a sport according to Webster’s definition. “… an often competitive athletic activity requiring skill or physical prowess.” Unlike European governments which subsidize dance companies so that their members can earn a living wage, American dancers fend for themselves, as do the companies for whom they work.

Our family has personally experienced my daughter’s growth as a person, in great part owing to her years as an aspiring ballerina. I’ve often said to friends who’ve asked, “We have no regrets supporting our daughter in her quest to dance professionally. Whatever happens, we feel she has already achieved so many life skills:  responsibility, discipline, commitment, sacrifice, leadership, teamwork, communicating with management, maintaining her health, handling competition, and being  independent. Living frugally, she was already prepared for our current economy.   

The media has begun showcasing  dance as a major form of entertainment for the masses, as is evident in TV shows like “So You Think You Can Dance,” “Dancing With The Stars,” and “Dance Your Ass Off.” But it’s also evident that it is not paying off big-time for dancers, the way the major sports are doing for their athletes.

Artists of all genre will agree that they do what they’re passionate about for the love of it, not for huge sums of money. Wouldn’t it be awesome if American professional dance groups in need of financial support, were sponsored by millionaire athletes? In doing so, they would undoubtedly bring value and meaning to their materialistic, and perhaps “empty”, lives. Their wealth would go much farther, if they invested in others with talent like theirs.  

from my lips to their ears…hugmamma.