tabitha-playing-1st-2000.jpgTabitha at First

danielle0054.jpgDanielle Allstars

britneys-2003-world-series-059.jpgBritney World Series

world-series-2005-8-8-05-018.jpgBrandon World Series

Thanks to Cecil’s last post I’m all teary-eyed and flooding with memories.  I just hugged my four children as they went off the school.  We still have a morning ritual of holding hands and praying together before they leave. 

I don’t know what it is, but seeing my children grow up is both a tremendous blessing and a heart-wrenching sadness.  Seeing them begin to “go out” (I put that in quotes because the two youngest can’t “go out” yet) with others and interact with their friends in a more “adult looking way” is really getting to me.

I know that life has not ended and that things will be fine, Lord willing, but just let me take a walk down memory lane. 

I remembe their first steps and first words.  Some of our greatest memories from their childhood are from times spent on trips with the youth groups that we were a part of.  I still blame many of those teens for things like burping at the table and playing in their food.

Most of our childrens’ childhood times were spent on the softball and baseball fields.  All four of them played ball at some level.  Tabitha was nick-named “scoop” because of her skills at first base.  She could also hit the ball hard.  Danielle played short, second, and pitched.  She wasn’t the fastest in the leagues, but we could always depend on strikes from her.  She showed her stamina when she continued to play after she started having siezures.  Britney was a power hitter and still could play if she decided to and might do that this year.  She played second based and had a great arm.  She is the only one of our girls to play in a Dixie Youth World Series.  Brandon was a natural from the beginning.  He was always the youngest of all of the boys in his league because of his birthday.  He was known, and still is, for his glove ability in the infield and speed.  We’re still working on the hitting for more power, but that will come if he will work.  Like Britney, he was priviledged to play in the Dixie Youth World Series, but he got to be there twice.  The first time was a disaster for the team, but he got two of the four hits that our team got in the two games we played.  The next year we nearly one the thing.  We lost in the championship game to Arkansas who didn’t lose in the series.

Those are not just a bunch of stats and scores–those are memories that I will take to my grave.  We are now heavily into band at the high school and there’s not enough blog space in this post for me to beging to tell you of those memories. Maybe another time.

Thanks for letting me pour all of this out today.  God bless you all. 

Those times are some of the hardest to let go.  I wonder how many buckets of balls I have thrown in both softball and baseball.  Learning the fundamentals of the game and teaching not only my children, but many others–some of which still call me “coach.”  Watching them in moments when the game was on the line and seeing them get the game winning hit or striking out and learning to deal with disappointment are moments that are priceless.


7 responses to “Memories

  • That Girl

    What great memories for you to have. It’s difficult to remember their fat little hands and then to see them grow up and grow away. (Just like we did)

    I have wonderful memories of growing up at the Underwood ballfields.

  • neva

    I am so grateful the Creator saw fit to give the ability to remember. The memories I have of my boys, especially the ones with their dad before his passing, are some of my greatest treasures. Now with grandchildren, I have had to start a whole new treasure chest for the new memories. It is difficult to imagine that as wonderful as these are, heaven will surpass even that!
    Have a beautiful day!

  • Greg England

    Yep, bro, those are not only good memories, they are GREAT memories!

  • Laura T

    As the mom of one of your “other kids”, I have to share one of my favorite memories of Darren because it includes you. Actually it is because of you. The last game of the season in 4th grade. We were playing a team that had a “challenged” child on it. Whether we won or lost that game didn’t matter in how we finished the season. Our boys (thanks to a wonderful coach who taught them as much about life as he did about baseball) had tons of errors on the last hit for that child so that he was able to not only hit a home-run but won the game for his team. You taught that team that there are some things more important than winning and that class and character are very important traits.

    Thanks, coach! We love you!!

    And now you have me crying too!

  • cwinwc

    O.K., enough with the man tears. Now I have them, again. Thanks for sharing my brother and I love the pictures. I forgot to mention that smell, the smell of fresh cut grass in the infield.

    Now for an important question – Are you coming back to Pepperdine this year? I think the Chuckster is going to make a return trip. I hope we can all hook up again.

  • Elaine Caudle

    You have taken me down memory lane. I sat here after reading this and thought of the years I spent at a football field while my girls cheered (starting at 8 years). While in college, I carried many a book to the games with me to study while supporting the girls. Wonderful memories.

  • Meowmix

    Hi Keith. I’m finally up and running with a new computer and am so glad to be back in touch.

    Thanks for sharing your memories. There’s a saying: God gave us memories so we can have roses in December. (Not that you are at December, yet! 🙂 )

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