I spent the afternoon with my mom. She was good today, laughing at times and actually getting a couple words out. She looked at me across the table at one point and actually said “My baby.” That meant the world to me. She really has no ability to say much of anything that we can undersand. That gift today was a little miracle.
I sat and watched her as my aunt fed her lunch. Just being in the room made me feel an energy. I needed that. She reminded me of the importance of miracles. Her strength, her love, her ability to laugh in the face of her horrific disease is truly amazing and empowering to me. We sang Christmas carols and laughed. I walked out this afternoon loving my mom more than ever. She’s my miracle.
I got back from Tennessee on Sunday night after spending Friday night in Chattanooga at Fury Academy for a mental toughness seminar for players and coaches, and Saturday and Sunday in Knoxville for the UT Christmas Camp. Hours of talking about the mental game. I was in heaven. I can tell that I have a passion, when I realized after 14 and a half hours of speaking about the mental game in 2 days, I could have still talked about it, if my voice had held up. I spent Saturday and Sunday with 435 softball players, 12 different sessions, ages 8-18. I got through Saturday with the older groups. Had some great conversations, heard some really smart kids give some really good insights. Then Sunday came, and I started to think about how difficult talking to 8 year olds about the mental game could potentially be. Especially when I would be getting them at the end of a long two days. I braced myself for what could potentially be a rough day.
My sessions covered the make up of a champion. Four “C” words covered most of it. I spoke about Consistency, Composure, Character, and Confidence. I asked what each word meant to each of my groups. I heard some really great answers. My favorite came in my 10th session, with the youngest girls all day. Her name was Brittany. She was eight. Wearing her softball uniform proudly, her hand went right up when I asked what the word “Character” means. I looked over to my right and saw her eyes looking back at me, almost like she had an answer but wasn’t totally sure about whether or not she was right. I called on her, walked over toward her and was not even close to being prepared for what I was about to hear. I said, “Yes… what do you think Character means?” She looked back, slowly putting her hand down and responded quietly yet deliberately: “When you see a piece of trash…. you pick it up?”
I was quiet for a minute, not really sure what just hit me. My heart felt so full. I smiled back, walked a little closer and immediately gave her a high five. I was amazed at her poise, at her honesty and thought process. I said, loudly… “YES! That is perhaps the best answer I have ever gotten to that question.” Thank you Brittany for teaching ME that day.
I believe strongly that every day brings us small miracles. Miracles don’t have to be a blind person seeing, or a mame person suddenly able to walk. Miracles sometimes come in small words, or moments that remind us of what our hearts feel and what they are capable of feeling. This time of year we often talk about miracles, about believing in the magic of the season. I think it is so much more than just this one time of year. My mom’s beautiful voice, trying to sing along to the songs we were singing, even without the ability of words. Little Brittany’s courage to give an answer whether it was right or wrong… the beauty of these moments will live on in my heart always.
I watched a little boy on the airplane on my way home Sunday night bring joy to everyone close to him. He sat in the row next to me, on the other side of a business man who was doing work on his laptop. The little boy was probably no more than 4 years old, blonde hair, big blue eyes. He was adorable. His mom was sitting next to him holding his younger brother. We were about half way through the trip when the younger brother started to get fussy. Mom was getting a little flustered trying to tend to him, and also making sure that the older boy was ok. After a couple of minutes, the older boy turned to his mom and with the sweetest, most loving voice spoke. “Mom, it’s ok. He’s probably just tired.” Mom looked at him and couldn’t not smile. The business man looked over at him and told him he was a pretty good big brother. Just then, we both watched as the older boy stroked his brother’s head so gently and sweetly. He started to softly sing to him. “Twingle Twingle Widdle Staw.” I saw the businessman crack a huge grin as the younger boy quieted down. Mom was smiling now. We were all smiling. It was a wonderful moment.
Miracles really can be just the smallest, most wonderful moments in life that we often don’t have time to see or hear or even recognize. They are about being the right person… about recognizing love and allowing the small moments to be just enough.
So I ask of you now…
Do YOU believe in miracles?