Friday, January 11, 2013

We have moments in our lives that stand out.  Feelings of Greatness and Rejoice we wish could be bottled and saved for eternity.  Memories that we wish could be captured in a video or a picture to be looked at & played over and over again, whenever our hearts need a little reminder of what we once accomplished.  Even times of great pain and anguish are poignant markers for the satisfaction of knowing where we've come from and how much we've achieved.  My mind is my archive.  I've got a few of these moments, cherished & dreaded, standout happenings all on standby.  I recall them at the flash of a thought, and grin so wide my teeth grind down just a bit to leave me humbled.

My first great moment occured on a baseball field of all places.  I was 12 years old playing midget league baseball for the Steelton Lions, coached by Clark Croman.  We were playing our rival team and had taken a small lead into the last inning.  They scored a few runs to pull within 1, then a kid belted a ball deep.  I'm standing in left field and the ball is hit high.  My Dad is watching from the crowd thinking, "go back Jon" but my body runs inward.  I retreat toward the fence, jump back fully extended and snag the ball out of the air.  My team and my coach yell and run on the field, surrounding me cheering that we've won.

The Worst moment of my life happened September 4, 2011.  I'm driving to my Dad's house to go to a baseball game.  I've got my 9 and 7 year old nephews in the backseat and I'm speeding to pass a slow car in front us.  There's plenty of downhill road ahead of us, but it's still a non-passing zone because of the business parking lots on the left side of the road.  A Car begins to pull out as I'm doing 80mph and I slam the breaks.  The wheels lock, we slide sideways and we somehow avoid the car.  We go into the grass and broadside a powerline.  The airbags deploy and the powerline falls on top of us with a loud crash.  In complete panic I pull my nephew from the backseat and run away from the wreckage.  I go back for my other nephew, duck in through the window but he's pinned in the backseat.  The powerline crushed in right near his seat.  "Devin! It's me Johnny.  Can you hear me?"  He moved and fretted but I couldn't get him out.  As I sit here crying, I can tell you we're all ok.

Baseball fields hold most of my greatest moments.  In 12th Grade, I had a terrible year of baseball.  11th was so carefree and successful, then my senior year was awful.  But in one game in one at-bat it all felt better.  We were losing, getting shut out by this kid throwing around 85.  I work a 2 and 0 count and think to myself, "sitting dead red."  I'm waiting for that fastball right down the middle.  I get it.  Beautiful Swing, right on time, perfect contact and a sound & feeling I'll never forget.  Now I'm Griffey Jr, hot stepping into my trot, but the ball hits the top of the fence and I haven't reached 1st base yet.  I leg it out, slide into 2nd for a double and think, "Man if that one didn't go out, I'll never hit one."  It didn't matter though.  I rocked that kid so hard the result was meaningless.

So my high/lowlight reel is one only to be read and reminisced.  You'll never know it or see it the way I did, but you can imagine it just as you do your own.  There's time left for more and I know it's not guaranteed.  I've learned to lessen my impatience.  Future moments will occur and I'll be ready.  My past is my guide to a more wise future.  I will live better, love harder and do my best for everyone around me.  And there will always be a baseball field closeby.

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