Sunday, April 18, 2021

Two Choices


Two Choices,
What would you do? make the choice. Don't look for a punch line, there isn't one. Read it anyway. My question is: Would you have made the same choice?

At a fundraising dinner for a school that serves children with learning disabilities, the father of one of the students delivered a speech that would never be forgotten by all who attended. After extolling the school and its dedicated staff, he offered a question:

'When not interfered with by outside influences, everything nature does is done with perfection.

Yet my son, Shay, cannot learn things as other children do. He cannot understand things as other children do.

Where is the natural order of things in my son?'

The audience was stilled by the query.

The father continued. 'I believe that when a child like Shay, who was mentally and physically disabled comes into the world, an opportunity to realize true human nature presents itself, and it comes in the way other people treat that child.'

Then he told the following story:


Shay and I had walked past a park where some boys Shay knew were playing baseball. Shay asked, 'Do you think they'll let me play?' I knew that most of the boys would not want someone like Shay on their team, but as a father I also understood that if my son were allowed to play, it would give him a much-needed sense of belonging and some confidence to be accepted by others in spite of his handicaps.

I approached one of the boys on the field and asked (not expecting much) if Shay could play. The boy looked around for guidance and said, 'We're losing by six runs and the game is in the eighth inning. I guess he can be on our team and we'll try to put him in to bat in the ninth inning..'

Shay struggled over to the team's bench and, with a broad smile, put on a team shirt.. I watched with a small tear in my eye and warmth in my heart. The boys saw my joy at my son being accepted.

In the bottom of the eighth inning, Shay's team scored a few runs but was still behind by three.

In top of the ninth inning, Shay put on a glove and played in the right field. Even though no hits came his way, he was obviously ecstatic just to be in the game and on the field, grinning from ear to ear as I waved to him from the stands.

In the bottom of the ninth inning, Shay's team scored again. Now, with two outs and the bases loaded, the potential winning run was on base and Shay was scheduled to be next at bat.


At this juncture, do they let Shay bat and give away their chance to win the game? Surprisingly, Shay was given the bat. Everyone knew that a hit was all but impossible because Shay didn't even know how to hold the bat properly, much less connect with the ball.

However, as Shay stepped up to the plate, the pitcher, recognizing that the other team was putting winning aside for this moment in Shay's life, moved in a few steps to lob the ball in softly so Shay could at least make contact.

The first pitch came and Shay swung clumsily and missed. The pitcher again took a few steps forward to toss the ball softly towards Shay. Athe pitch came in, Shay swung at the ball and hit a slow ground ball right back to the pitcher.

The game would now be over. The pitcher picked up the soft grounder and could have easily thrown the ball to the first baseman. Shay would have been out and that would have been the end of the game.

Instead, the pitcher threw the ball right over the first baseman's head, out of reach of all team mates.

Everyone from the stands and both teams started yelling, 'Shay, run to first!

Never in his life had Shay ever run that far, but he made it to first base. He scampered down the baseline, wide-eyed and startled.

Everyone yelled, 'Run to second, run to second!'

Catching his breath, Shay awkwardly ran towards second, gleaming and struggling to make it to the base.

By time Shay rounded towards second base, the right fielder had the ball. The smallest guy on their team who now had his first chance to be the hero for his team.

He could have thrown the ball to the second-baseman for the tag, but he understood the pitcher's intentions so he, too, intentionally threw the ball high and far over the third-baseman's head.

Shay ran toward third base deliriously as the runners ahead of him circled the bases toward home. All were screaming, 'Shay, Shay, Shay, all the Way Shay'


Shay reached third base because the opposing shortstop ran to help him by turning him in the direction of third base, and shouted, 'Run to third!

As Shay rounded third, the boys from both teams, and the spectators, were on their feet screaming, 'Shay, run home! Run home!'


Shay ran to home, stepped on the plate, and was cheered as the hero who hit the grand slam and won the game for his team

'That day', said the father softly with tears now rolling down his face, 'the boys from both teams helped bring a piece of true love and humanity into this world'.


Shay didn't make it to another summer. He died that winter, having never forgotten being the hero and making me so happy, and coming home and seeing his Mother tearfully embrace her little hero of the day!

A wise man once said every society is judged by how it treats it's least fortunate amongst them.

You now have two choices:
1.  Delete

2 Share

Sunday, April 4, 2021

Books of March

The Shadow Box.  An interesting mystery involving a woman who goes missing after a vicious attack and another woman who dies in an explosion on the family boat.  

Assume Nothing:  Memoir by a woman who suffered abuse from a powerful man.

Thinking Fast and Slow.  How we make decisions quickly or after rational thought.  Many examples.  It's a long book but interesting.


Sunday, March 28, 2021

What Next? So Many Choices

I've had both of my shots.  COVID cases are decreasing.  Freedom!

Now what?  So many people to see, so many places to go, so many wishes to fulfill.

First and foremost:  I want to get together with my children.  Not on Zoom.  In person.

I want to see the latest exhibit of Hockley and Van Gogh at the Museum of Fine Arts

I want to go to a restaurant with friends, go to the theater.

I want to visit the Cistern an amazing place discovered underground near downtown Houston.

I want to see the sculptures and murals in the Heights.

I want to go back to Angela's House, where I was leading a writing group.

I want to see the bluebonnets.

I want to drive to Galveston, where I was doing volunteer work at Shriners Burn Hospital for Children.

I want to go to Austin, where I spent my childhood.

I want to visit my sister in Atlanta.

I want to visit my late husband's family in Iowa and Wisconsin.

I want to vacation in New York, Maine, New Mexico.

I want to celebrate my freedom!

Sunday, March 21, 2021

March Madness

 It's March Madness time and I have been watching basketball all weekend, not the lousy Houston Rockets but the NCAA tournament.

I love sports--watching them, not playing them.  I am tooo clumsy to engage in any sport but I love being a spectator.  This year Texas had 8 teams in the tournament.  The University of Texas, my alma mater seeded #3, lost in the first round to little known Abilene Christian.  The University of Houston, my second alma mater, played poorly but managed to get it together in the second half and made it to the Sweet Sixteen.  I was on campus in the heady Phi Slamma Jama days and this team is almost as good.  Baylor, a number 1 seed also advanced.  Tomorrow I'll have to decide between watching basketball or The Voice.  Hard choice.  If none of the Texas teams gets to the finals, I'll be cheering for little Gonzaga which always has a great team but has never made it all the way.

Go Coogs!

Sunday, March 14, 2021

Books of February

 Blood and Money.  A friend reminded me of an old Houston scandal so I read the book about it.  I'd forgotten many of the details--the possibility that the wife was poisoned with cream puffs, the dead woman's father (supposedly) having the husband murdered.  I read it all in two nights.  Engrossing, plus if you know Houston, you'd find it especially interesting.

The Sanitorium.  This has been on the best seller list for several weeks.  Strange things are happening at a resort high in the mountains where all the guests and staff are trapped by an avalanche. The author does a great job of making the building a character in the story, but the heroine keeps venturing into places alone where she's clearly in danger of being murdered herself.  It's just like the scary movies where the young girl goes into the house where she knows the killer is hiding.  This character is a police officer but still...

Sunday, February 28, 2021

Books of January

Late this month--just getting to January.  Here we go.

 Hidden Sins by Selena  Montgomery aka Stacy Abrams.  Yes, that Stacy  Abrams.  She wrote this romantic suspense while she was a student at Yale Law School.  Impressive.  She did a good job.  You just have to suspend your disbelief, but, don't you have to do when reading any fiction?  

War:  How Conflict Shaped Us.  Written by a prominent historian.  About how and why wars begin, how they are fought, the aftermath of war.  Interesting reading.

The Price of Time,  What would be the consequences of discovering a drug that could give you eternal life? 

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

The Storm Ended!

 Last week we thought the storm would never end, but it did and now it looks like spring.  Here are some quotes to keep in mind:


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