It was cold and rainy. As a matter of fact, it was unseasonably cold for the end of September in Central Pennsylvania. The rain was that kind of rain that gets into your bones and makes you cold from the inside out to every extremity. And yet this day blessed us unlike any other in a long time.
But I have to rewind two months to tell you this story. I was sitting at the kitchen table with the boys in the middle of the day and our phone rang. The man on the other end said, "This is a voice from your past." It was the man who had organized a softball team for which my husband had played over ten years ago. When my husband and I began dating he played on three softball teams. We didn't really date, we went to softball games. The families affiliated with these teams became as close to us as our own family. We spent weekends at tournaments and evenings at games with these people. I sat on the baseline with the other ladies as we cheered our men to victory time and time again. Then, because we were young and stupid, we walked away from those people. We did it for a good reason, we were starting a family. I had quit my job to prepare for motherhood and my husband took a part time job to make up for the financial loss. Softball didn't fit into our life. But we didn't keep in touch with those friends who had become so dear. And then, more than ten years later, I got a call from the man who organized the last softball team for which my husband played.
I think there's a line from a movie that goes, "We're getting the band back together!" Well that's what happened for us except the line was, "We're getting the team back together!" The plan was to reunite many of the men who played together 10 years ago and play in a local tournament. Most of us now had children who weren't in existence when they were a team, so our numbers would grow as part of this reunion team.
And so, we fast forward to the end of September. When we arrived at the ball park there were hugs and smiles all around. Everyone commented on how much our boys look like their dad. Many were interested in why we chose to homeschool the boys and what the state required of us. They were genuine and curious about our lives, as we were with them. Old jokes were resurrected and we laughed until our faces ached. As I mentioned in the opening paragraph, it was cold and rainy, but no one minded. We were together with old friends, really old family. And we were so blessed by it.
The team did really well, even though they were the old men in the tournament. They won the opening bracket (winning 3 out of 4 games) before becoming tired and loosing in the single-elimination portion of the tournament. But no one was upset at loosing. It wasn't about softball, it was about being together.
That evening, at home, we sat with our boys over our supper and my husband prayed the blessing. Tears welled in his eyes (and mine) as he thanked God for those men. Men we had forgotten that we loved. We thanked God for blessing us so immensely by allowing us to reunite with these dear families. The blessing we received by being with those old friends and by the efforts of the coach at finding and reuiniting everyone will stay with us for a long-long time.