The Marlins (6/15/12)

My lung resection surgery fell on a weekend that my 12 year old step-son’s baseball team was playing in a tournament. Even though I followed the Marlins via play-by-play text messages as they hit home runs and won games, this was the first time that I actually missed watching them play.  The Marlins earned a second place finish in that tournament; losing the championship game by one run.

Last year the Marlins started playing in a new league.  They faced much tougher competition than they had played in the past. It’s not uncommon for a team facing more challenging opponents to lose their heart; however, the Marlins simply hung in there and played through the down times and stayed focused on improving their skills with each game. The trophy they won was an important achievement as it was the first placement they made since moving up to the tougher league.

When my step son came home from the game he was carrying a team picture, team-autographed game ball, and a rather large second place trophy.  At first I thought wow, that’s a big trophy. Then I realized there was only one trophy that large – that was the “team’s” trophy.

He handed me the team’s trophy, the team-autographed ball, and the team picture. He said “the team wanted you to have the trophy.” He continued to explain that the team dedicated their games to me and wanted to fill a trophy cabinet up for me.

This made my heart grow two sizes. I had to work to hold back the tears.  Having this wonderful group of boys dedicating their games to me was a very moving gesture. They are such a great group of boys and the fact is that they missed me at their games; and wanted me to know that they were thinking about me and caring about me.

And they are continuing to make true on their promise to fill a trophy cabinet for me. They are tougher and more experienced players this year. In their last three tournaments they have taken two second place trophies and one first place trophy.

I am both honored and humbled that they have dedicated their games to me.  And I’m taking the persistence and patience they have shown over the past couple of years as a personal lesson to me.  The lesson that the Marlins have exemplified is what I must do as I face cancer.

No matter what the predicament — never give up. 

No matter what adversity — sustain and endure.

From the bottom of my heart,

Thank You Marlins!!!

4 Comments on “The Marlins (6/15/12)”

  1. Maureen says:

    What a great group of boys! The Marlins aren’t the only one’s rooting for you — so are your many colleagues and friends. Thanks for sharing your story, Phil. God Bless you.

  2. Pam and Dave Austin says:

    We all love you!!

  3. Johnny and Lori Scamihorn says:

    We are behind you too. We love you very much 🙂

  4. Karen DeLand says:

    Thank you, Phil, for sharing your blog with us. As a parent, I am humbled by the selflessness of the, what we all sometimes consider, “typical 12 year old boys”. A trophy to a young boy is a huge thing and the fact that they chose- on their own- to give it to you should tell you how “cool” you are in the eyes, and hearts, of each of them. Your “fun-dad” character and ever present support-no matter the sporting event- is a blessing to the boys and your perseverance and strength to win your own “trophy” is a wonderful life-lesson for all of us. May God continue to bless you with improving health, strength, and His ever present Love.

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