A couple of months ago I met a man that I had only heard stories about. Stories about the fact that he was a two time Olympic athlete, 8 time national champion, friend to some, nemesis to others. Upon meeting him, I was initially inclined to say “Nice to meet you, I have heard so much about you” but something held my tongue. I did say the “Nice to meet you” but refrained from the rest for reasons beyond my understanding. As I watched this man for the evening that we were “together” at a National Track and Field meet, I was deeply impressed by the idea that this man was part of something much larger that I had ever imagined.
This man’s name was Pat Porter. He ran at Adams State College at the same time that my husband did and the two of them, like so many of the other men I have met since marrying my hubby, are part of what is now called the Long Green Line. I do not profess to know the first thing about the bond that exists within this group of men, I am merely an outsider looking in… but one thing that I do know is that there is something very tangible that holds these men together… even after so many years have passed. When one of them laughs, they all do… when one is hurting, they all do. And when one of them leaves this earth…. they all suffer a pain I don’t think I will ever understand.
Pat Porter was killed in a plane crash last Thursday morning. I will never forget the look on my husband’s face when he read the text from a teammate telling him the news. He just looked at his phone and said “What?” Then he commenced to finding as many details as he could so that he could tell the next teammate the news. These men will forever be teammates… for life and in death. Except now the team is minus one part. A part that only recently had come back to line….
The interesting thing about the whole situation is that Pat spent the last 20+ years away from the bond of his team… until June of this year. He came to the national meet and began reconnecting with his “brothers”…. I watched as hatchets were buried…. after so much time had passed. Men were laughing and talking… building plans for the future. Only to have that future cut dramatically short.
It was my honor and privelege to watch that scenario unfold… that scenario of forgiveness and reconnection… and I feel very fortunate that I was able to meet the man and spend the small amount of time in his world witnessing the things that I did.
Death is a very fickle thing…. you never know when it might knock on your door or the door of someone you care about. Take special care to forgive others, say I love you…. and never take life for granted.
It is my belief that the bond of the Long Green Line will transcend death and eventually all of these men will be sitting in some grandstand somewhere talking about the “good old days” and how they made it…. as a team.
As always, One Day and Counting…..
Have I ever mentioned that my husband and I are building a canoe. It all started two years ago when we went to a family reunion. During that visit, we took my brother’s canoes out for some fishing… it was a blast! Needless to say, Randy and I were completely hooked on the whole idea of canoeing which meant it didn’t take much arm-twisting for my brother to talk us into building one. We worked on it for about 2 weeks straight and got quite a bit done but for some reason life got in the way and the canoe project got put on the back burner.
A few weeks ago, I got a phone call informing me that a canoe trip to Bowron Lakes in British Columbia was happening next summer – and did we want to go? Did we want to go??? What kind of a question was that?? Of course we want to go…. One problem, we needed to finish our canoe. Since it was my brother who was heading up the trip it was pretty easy to talk him into working on the canoe so we could get it finished…
This is what the canoe looked like a couple of weeks ago… Today we have it off the frame and as I write this my hubby is down sanding the inside to get it ready for fiberglass and resin. I have loved working on the canoe each and every minute (the only reason I am not sanding at this moment is my asthma) I think that the reason I have enjoyed it so much is because it is something that my husband and I have done together (well, with a whole lotta help from my brother) It is going to be one of the projects that we will be able to look back on and say “Wow…. we really did this!”
One Day… and Counting….. until the maiden voyage!! 🙂
I am currently sitting in our truck on the way to Utah. Generally speaking, I LOVE to travel… But for some reason I am a bit “over it” today. I think perhaps I am a bit tired and a little overwhelmed with life which may be the cause of my…. What do I call it angst? boredom? Not sure… At any rate, the fact that July is about to give way to August brings into stark relief that summer is almost gone. What happened? Time sure has a way of slipping by at breakneck speed.
My son turned 23 today. So hard for me to believe. Again, what happened?
I never really have paid attention to how fast time seems to move but lately there just doesn’t seem to be enough of it. I know I am partially to blame as I have allowed myself to get to a point in my life where I am constantly in motion. I am moving too fast and nobody can change that except for me.
My husband sent me this picture last week when he was headed up to Craig to do some scouting for hunting season. He and his buddy had stopped on the side of the road to make some adjustments to some stuff they were hauling and Randy saw this. Even though it was dark, and they were most likely in a hurry to get back on the road, my wonderful husband stopped his day to notice the beauty of this single flower. This is a perfect example of what I need to do more of.
My job will always be there, bills will always be there, stress will always be there, the list goes on and on…. What won’t always be there will be those moments that pass in an instant… Often without notice at all…. Like a lone beautiful flower, standing tall in the dark, on the side of the road.
One day…. and counting.
Once again the goal is to update this blog a little more regularly than I have been…. who knew that this would be such a difficult task? At any rate, the last few months have been a time for change….
Big Change – After teaching 7th grade social studies for the past 6 years, I have opted to move into a library and be a teacher librarian. I got my master’s in library media science in 2009 so I guess it is time to put all that expensive education to good use.
Another Change – My 23 year old son moved to Idaho to attend college. I knew that day was coming but it was still difficult to have him move away. New parameters for our relationship had to be established and I had to come to grips with the fact that he truly is a grown man. In my mind, he is still 2 toddling around in his Osh Kosh overalls.
Another Change – My 16 year old daughter got her driving permit. Not a huge deal in and of itself but if you couple that with the fact that she went to Prom, got a boyfriend and all of a sudden grew up, then everything is compounded ten-fold. We have survived all of the above and I am coming to grips with the fact that despite what I think, she is no longer my “little” girl. In my mind SHE is still 2 toddling around in HER Osh Kosh overalls.
More soon…. One day and counting!