As the horn blew and I stepped off the court and into the locker room, I sighed a sigh of relief. I made it to halftime. The big 5-0, didn’t seem so big anymore, I felt like 24, looked a lot older but over all not what I expected at 50.
The first quarter was everything you would expect. Young full of energy, no real lows tons of highs. You are floating, bullet proof and going through school playing games and hanging out with friends. Yes there are a few let downs like broken bones, sprains, losing a girlfriend or two along the way. College comes around and I started to consider…whoa careful there…responsibilities, yikes. This quarter I play with the same teammates for the most part until the end with a few exceptions. Towards the end of the first quarter I am a full blown man with a career, payments and no summers off, time out needed. Man that went fast.
The second quarter starts fast after a break to catch my breath. This quarter is completely different. This one makes the roller coasters at Cedar Point look smooth. The second quarter is my country song. You know, you find love, there are kids, the dog dies, the marriage fails, I get really sick, God gives me a rare disorder that tries to kill me ….. in my pick up truck in the pouring rain. But wait, there are incredible highs too. Through the rain an angel reaches out to me, one from a long time ago and I find love again in Jenny. We dry off together and raise my little daughter who in the second quarter is transitioning from daddy’s little girl to an incredibly beautiful young woman. This is the quarter where we are tested as a family with illnesses, job loss, another puppy goes to heaven, and moving two houses into one. As a family we embrace our faith and are rewarded with a clean bill of health, a daughter who is embracing her faith and proud of what she does with it for Him and a Sam, he was new, he is a puppy. We as a family have ramped up our service at school, in church and in our community. We are looking further down the road with optimism and hope. As the quarter turns toward half we are once again reminded how precious life is as we lose another loved one in our 14 year old puppy, Lucy. Lucy came to us early in the second quarter. As time runs out at half time, I find it is harder to catch my breath than it was in the first quarter and ironically I am surrounded by many of the same people as when we began. Family and friends.
As I embark on the second half, I am calmly confident. I am surrounded by my family and blessed that my parents and all of my siblings are still with me. I was lucky in life as my parents gave me a built-in best friend in my twin brother Chris, yes we bicker sometimes, fight like all friends but he is always there for me and I like to think I am there for him. My wife and daughter are my anchors that keep me whole, grounded and loved like no other. So time to snug up the laces and step onto the hardwood the whistle is about to blow.