Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Worry and Faith; Faith and Worry...

My youngest child has been plagued by stomach aches for nearly a year. Over the summer her father took her to see the paediatrician in the city of her birth; this was her Dr. from the time she was born until we relocated. He said he could see nothing physically wrong.

Stomach ailments continue; then headaches start. Strangely enough they seem to occur at roughly the same time of day, early evening. Soon though she is waking up with stomach pain, going to bed with stomach pain and headache.

Back to the Dr we go, our doctor in our city this time. He examines and says he doesn't really feel it's anything physical.

I question my daughter, has someone, anyone, hurt her and told her not to say anything? No. Ok, so why the physical ailments along with a growing fear of many things. I worry.

I weigh her, she's lost 4 lbs since summer. Ok, back to the doctor as her appetite now seems to be waning. She doesn't seem herself... or am I being paranoid?

I beg him to please do some tests, please rule out a physical cause for sure. At least then we know what we're dealing with. I tell him that I am beginning to lose patience with this, it's been ongoing for so long with no definitive answers. I feel awful for doubting, is it all in her head or is she really ill? What has caused this. I am scared....

I wish my Mom was still here so I could talk to her about my concerns, about my fears. I wish she was still here to tell me everything is going to be ok, to just say my prayers and have faith in God.

I do have faith, but I am scared. I am begging him please don't take my baby from me. Please let it be nothing serious. And please, let us find a cause so we can fix it and she won't hurt anymore.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

The Best Game...

I am a hockey fan. I am a hockey fan who used to play hockey for many years, so I know the game. Recently my youngest daughter and I attended a WHL game in our city. I have attended a few games this year, and each time I have been disappointed with the level of play that I am watching.

These are supposed to be young men on their way to the big league. Young men whose drive, ambition and talent have earned them a spot at this level. Someone forgot to mention to them that the type of play that got them to this team was supposed to continue on.

I saw no positional play, in fact, it was at times hard to determine who was in what position. They reminded me of the Atom level players, all the men on the ice seemed to gravitate to where the puck was leaving most of the oppositions team open. I rarely saw any passing, but what I did see was a lot of glory seeking puck hogs. They wanted the goal, failing to remember that the most important play is the one that sets up the goal. I saw little if any thinking, and hockey a thinking/anticipating game. Don't get me started on the skating, I thought I was watching a Sunday afternoon at Rockefeller Plaza. Absolutely no drive and no energy. It was one of the most boring games that I've attended in a long time. I couldn't wait for it to be over.

Their skill level seemed to be lacking and one was left to wonder exactly what we have a coaching staff in place for. The boys really need to be taken to task on the body checking skills. These guys are "jumping" up at the opposing player, with their elbows up. When contact is made it is usually the guy delivering the check that ends up on the ice thus taking himself out of play. It is sad to see the fundementals of the game, the most basic of skills seem to have been forgotten.

Today I had the pleasure of seeing my seven year old nephew play a game in a tournament. This young team played their postions to a tee; I was so impressed and almost in awe of the coaching when I witnessed them play a perfect box on the penalty kill. They skated their little hearts out to get to the puck, not one of them slacked. They were a TEAM. They passed the puck, they anticipated plays, they kept their heads up.... there was one play these little guys set up that culminated in a goal that would have made the greats shed a tear of joy. These young kids seem to have a better grasp on the fundementals and basics then the young men who have been playing the game for the majority of their lives.

At what point does the game get lost? When do the basics cease to matter? Where does it all go sideways....It is a sad truth, but the game is no longer a game. It is a business, a money making venture. The public wants a rough, at times violent game, they like to see blood drawn. It sickens me when I see fights being cheered on, and those who choose to skate away booed. Give me the days of LaFleur, Dionne, Clarke, Hull and Orr, that's when the game truly was a game. They were legends, they were tough and they had a respect for each other and the game that doesn't seem to exist today.

I hope my nephew never loses what I saw in him and his teammates today. I hope that this next generation can bring back the basics to the game. Most of all I hope they never lose the love of the game, the drive and the ambition I saw in each one of them today.

I will take a game at the little guy level over the big leagues any day!

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Bucket List

I went and saw this movie today. Morgan Freeman is one of my favorite actors. I have never been disappointed by one of his movies and today was no exception. Jack Nicholson was also amazing in this film. If you go to see it I highly recommend having tissues on hand because if you are not shedding a tear or two at various parts you must be without feeling.

As I watched this movie I had to wonder...why do we as humans seem to wait for a "death sentence" to "live"? Why don't we have a "bucket list" all the time? We all have things we want to do, things we want to see; what are we waiting for?

Like Morgan Freeman's character I find myself looking back over the years and thinking, "WOW". I am amazed at how quickly time has gone by. The son I remember bringing home; I can remember the feelings and smells from that day; is now grown and on his own. I have worked more than I have played. I find it easy to sit here and justify it as having been out of necessity; but was it really? Could I have made different choices that would have eliminated some of the financial burden that seemed to have necessitated working as much as I have? Perhaps to some degree I could have, but as with everything I had a method to my madness.

I now want to enjoy life more while I can. I want to do things that I have always aspired to do. I want to enjoy my kids more and worry less about working. One thing I have learned from this life is that no matter what, things always work out as they are meant to in the end.

I will be taking some reflective time to create my own bucket list and God willing I will have many years in which to accomplish what ends up on that list.

When will YOU create your bucket list? What are YOU waiting for?