I love to win. For many that know me your quick response is: “That’s an understatement.” Whether it be cards, Settlers of Catan, any sports activity, mowing the lawn the fastest, timed challenges, I’m in. Yet there’s a lesson my friend Jared Callahan taught me a few years ago that helped me tremendously in the midst of Joncee’s journey.
He tells a story of when he was younger and had lost a game he was playing. His attitude had reflected his displeasure at losing and his mom said, “When are you going to realize the people in the game are more important than the outcome of it.?” Bam! Right to the heart. (Jared thank your mom for me if you ever read this)
Prior to our big move to Gig Harbor, I didn’t want Joncee to miss out on an opportunity to play baseball so I emailed the Little League here in Gig to see if we could get onto a team. I was told to fill out the paperwork and send the check so I did thinking it’d be a good opportunity for Joncee to meet some new friends in this transition. I had explained Joncee’s story and situation so the new coach was at least aware of what was coming.
After Joncee had been drafted and we were notified of the team he was on, I emailed the coach and also explained Joncee’s situation and gave the token parent speech of, “my kid can hit, pitch, and play the middle infield.” (as if he hadn’t ever heard that from a parent before)
The coach informed me he requested to have Joncee because of his story because there was another family on the team who had a boy that was battling cancer as well and thought it would be a good way to connect and share a common journey.
At the first practice the coach said he needed parents to step up and help. I took him seriously and probably pushed my way in too quickly, but alas, he welcomed me to sit around his baseball table. It was after that first practice we met Kai and chatted briefly about our common denominator of being a parent with a kid who has cancer.
Fast forward toward the end of this season where Joncee’s team has done pretty well and you’ll find a group of people that love to win, but have rallied around a different desire for winning. It’s Masen. A few weeks ago Masen got a little sick and within a matter of days realized his brain tumors were getting larger and needed to be removed. The surgery was last Friday.
Masen was to be in ICU for a few days and then up to another week in the hospital. He went home yesterday being told they got all the tumor in there. While Masen’s journey isn’t over, today, he’s winning.
As much as I’ve loved helping to coach boys in baseball this season, it’s been a true gift to watch so many parents, other boys on the team, and a few coaches grasp the reality that the people, whether boys on the other team, the parents in the stands, the siblings who don’t care about baseball but play together all matter more than the outcome of what happens between the lines.
A major help to our family transition has been experiencing this firsthand over the last few months. As we enter the City Tournament next week, Masen’s face will be a reminder of what’s truly important in life; being the hands and feet of Jesus to people we come into contact with every day in different places. May you embody that this week and in the days to come.
You are loved.