By the time this is posted another milestone will have been passed…another end of an era; feels more like incinerated by the high rate of speed that life is now burning through. It seems like just a short time ago she was picking out frilly dance shoes while her older sister was buying cleats.
Her life changed on one particular spring evening when she was in eighth grade. She made a choice; ride with her older sister who had just got her driver’s license, or wait until her mom would drive to the game. No one would be riding with me, I would drive directly to the game. This was no regular game, this was the semifinals playoff game.
We showed up long before the spectators or refs would show up. This was a time for the team to make last-minute strategic and mental preparations for the game in hopes of extending our season to a first-time state championship appearance for our school.
As the team sat on the field in a tight circle the captain, some of the girls and I spoke a little. Ali, the dancer, sat quietly in the grass about 10 yards outside the team circle. She was listening to the team interact. She could hear her sister and the team camaraderie, Ali had never witnessed anything like it by a group of people as passionate and resolute about their common goals.
Ali’s eyes gazed in wonder as if having just witnessed a supernatural magic trick… she would never be the same… She watched the game from the stands as her sister’s team advanced for the first time in school history to the championship game, the school Ali would attend the following year.
That evening changed the life of our middle daughter forever… she would hang up her dancing shoes and lace up her cleats for her new-found passion; lacrosse. The impact her oldest sister had on her life is unmistakable and it’s a gift of love.
By the time this is read, my wife and I will have driven to Tucson to watch our middle daughter, co-captain of the UofA Wild Cats ladies lacrosse team play ASU. It will have been the last time we get to see Ali play while in school… I’d be lying if I said I won’t miss it, I will.
Choices are made in life that change out lives forever, some good some not so much. My prayer for my daughters and you the reader are the same; may they be choices made that bring honor to God and all of us. That action of choosing moral and decent roads based on Biblical principles are almost never the easiest roads to choose.
The road is hard, beset with strife and pain but chosen by the strong just the same. What all the girls gained, including Ali, by choosing a more difficult road is too numerous to be recounted here.
History has a way of repeating itself… Our youngest this year jumped from a pair of red Dorothy shoes from a school play into a pair of cleats she vowed she’d never wear. I too have another chance to do the right thing, the hard thing… To spend time and energy to help change and shape the lives of young people. It won’t be easy…
But the best things in life rarely are…