Life is a series of experiences—some good, some bad. We celebrate the good ones and try to learn valuable lessons from the bad—both build our character—both mold us into what we become. I seem to be at a point in my life where more retrospective thoughts invade my mind—triggered by experiences taking place in current times.
As I watch my grandchildren growing up, I sometimes remember similar things I did when I was young. Although we are separated by five decades, I can still relate to many of their experiences. However, with the changes in society I have witnessed through the years, I can’t help but wonder what the future has in store for them. I pray they continue to include God in their lives and keep asking Him to help them live as He would have them do—as modern-day disciples who are willing to share His word with others—as good role models for those who will look up to them in the future.
I’ve been watching my grandsons play baseball for many years. I’m what people would refer to as a “rover” because I never sit down—just can’t stay in the same spot very long. I’m constantly walking along the fence while keeping my eyes fixed on the action on the field. I try not to miss a thing—every play is important—each moment is precious, no matter the outcome. It’s learning about life. You see, I love my grandchildren and want them to experience life to the fullest. Winning or losing is no longer the most important thing to me now—what they learn about life and character from playing the game is foremost.
While at a baseball game watching one of my grandsons play, the writer in me started churning with an idea for a new book. I started reflecting on my experiences on the green diamonds and the immediate result was a short blurb, “Reflections of a Grandfather.” This seemingly simple reflection blossomed and led me to write On Green Diamonds: Pursuing a Dream. A novel about character, faith, loyalty, helping others, and facing hurdles in life—a moral compass for living.
REFLECTIONS OF A GRANDFATHER
Baseball transcends all generations and brings young and old together for short moments in time—moments to share dreams of being the best you can be on the grandest stage of all. Baseball— it’s not just a game—it’s life being played out on a diamond of green, a field of dreams, where men become boys, and boys become men, all speaking a universal language without ever saying a word. The coach gives a series of gestures as if conducting an orchestra and the play is on. Each player knows what needs to be done and they expect their teammates to do their best—it’s called a TEAM—win as a team, lose as a team, but always play as a team.
It has been 45 years since the ole man last stood on the pitcher’s mound for his final baseball game, proudly wearing the number 53 on his uniform. The feeling of being in control of the situation and looking toward the catcher for the sign of the next pitch caused his heart to pound. With the eyes of an eagle, he then stared at the batter in hopes of sending him back to the dugout on three strikes. Visions of blowing a fastball past a late swing or throwing curves so awesome that a batter goes to his knees when trying to hit it danced in his mind—all of this while never uttering a word.
The windup, the pitch, the swing, and the final batter he would ever face went down on three strikes—last out, game won, and a career ended…
Just memories of an aging grandfather—a man pausing in peaceful solitude, while reflecting on some of his special moments of long ago. His thoughts bring a smile to his face, and yes, maybe even the hint of a tear in his aging eyes. Not from what once was and will never be again, but for what is to come—his grandsons carrying the fire of the game into the future—that burning desire—the passion for those who will follow—those yet to be born.
Now, old # 53 stands silently beside a fence that surrounds a neatly trimmed baseball field as he watches his grandsons playing the game. A sense of pride swells in his chest knowing they share his love for the game. His heart still pounds, but for different reasons now. He crosses his fingers with every pitch in hopes, they too, will experience similar euphoric moments in their lives just as he once did. The sharp eyes of the eagle have long since faded, but his heart still pounds at the sound of a bat contacting a ball in the crisp spring air.
Joy comes in many shapes and sizes, but for him, watching the young boys, his grandsons, warms his soul. The thought of them pursuing a dream brings new meaning to life and rekindles a spirit within that has lain dormant for years. A spirit that shares the joy of success, the agony of defeat, gratitude for the present, and hope for the future.
However, it’s not about old #53; it’s about the young boys and their dreams—their passions. Their opportunities to experience life—to spread their wings, not as he did, but even better—with unbridled success while creating memories that they too will have as they grow in time and experience their own “REFLECTIONS OF A GRANDFATHER.”
Tom Tatum -2015
Author page: http://www.amazon.com/author/tomtatum