The other day, we were invited to a major-league ballpark, to share in and celebrate the making of a dream come true. To commemorate his upcoming 70th birthday, our friend, Rich, was throwing out the first-pitch, at Wrigley Field, for his much-beloved Chicago Cubs.
The weather was incredible; the sky was a beautiful azure blue, with the sun shining, abundantly, overhead. It was one of the first 70+ degree days in April, after a very l-o-n-g and very snowy winter. Everything was in place for a picture-perfect day at the ballpark; the peanuts and Cracker Jack, just added to our quintessential experience.
I know it doesn’t sound as if the memory of this day could get much better, but Rich’s grade-school-aged grandson, Jack, had assumed the role of his personal Pitching Coach, leading up to his debut on the mound.
A few weeks prior to the game, we had the opportunity to speak to Jack, a.k.a., ‘the Coach’, to see how prepared Grandpa was for his big day. He said, with great earnestness, ‘Grandpa has the distance down (from the mound to the plate)…but he needs more consistency.’
Jack’s sincerity and commitment completely melted my heart. It was clear he was taking his role, very seriously.
Not only did Rich have remembrances of his major league day to reflect on for the rest of his Life, he also had shared memories with his grandson, of their hours of coaching and practice time, together. It’s a slice of Americana; it reminded me of ‘Field of Dreams’, with a twist.
What a gift for both of them to experience. I truly felt honored to witness the ‘first pitch’, which by the way, was executed flawlessly and deemed ‘a strike’.
This got me to thinking about times in my Life when I’ve achieved milestones. I’ve come to realize that sharing days like this isn’t just about having cheerleaders and supporters around you.
It’s also about giving those who love and care for you an opportunity to share in a special, memorable Life experience, with you.
It’s about allowing others to experience a part of you; perhaps in a different role or a different light than they are used to seeing you.
I wasn’t on the mound that day; but at times, it sure felt like I was.
I felt excitement, along with a little nervous jitter, before the pitch was thrown.
I feel so Blessed to have been included, to bear witness to Rich’s real Life ‘dream come true’. We were there celebrating his birthday, but I felt like I was the one receiving a gift; all because I was invited to be there.
Be sure to celebrate the ‘Wins!’ of family and friends, but be sure to allow them to share in your ‘Wins!’, too. ‘Why?’ you ask? Because I’m confident you’ll all end up richer, in the end.
After all, once it is the ‘bottom of the ninth’ and our final inning is played, all we can take with us is the Love we gave, the Love others shared with us, and our memories.