Tuesday, September 4, 2012


Fast Ball, Wrigley Field, IL

I recently received an e-mail containing a poem written by a terminally ill twelve year old girl. It was titled Slow Dance and included the request to slow down and not dance too fast. This young girl was forced to mature beyond her years as time was short and she knew the music wouldn’t last. She characterized a day filled with hurry and worry as an unopened gift thrown away. Her final admonition not to dance too fast was that life is not a race, so take it slower and hear the music before the song is over.

The poem reminded me of a baseball I saw in an impressive trophy case years ago in Kansas City. My wife and I had been asked to represent our company at a charity Las Vegas party. It was generously being held at the home of the professional baseball player I most admired at the time. He had lost a good friend to ALS and the event was being held to raise donations for a cure. My baseball possessed father had me playing baseball from the time I could hold a bat without dropping it on my feet. So I was transfixed and blown away when we discovered that we were free to wander around the home which included a workout room and awards den. Most of the rooms were a testament to a long and storied sports career. However, there was one trophy case of signed baseballs that immediately caught my attention. No, it wasn’t the signed Babe Ruth or Lou Gehrig baseballs, as impressive as they were for me. After all, ALS has been called Lou Gehrig’s disease since it stopped short the career of this giant of the game all too soon.

There was a signed baseball in one glassed case that was addressed to our gracious host for the evening and it said, “You’d better slow down. I hear you’re getting to be a lot like me”. It was obviously given to our host during his early single years of fame and fortune before he settled down with a wonderful wife and family. And it was signed by another baseball legend that died after a contentious liver transplant. He'd been quoted as saying, “If I had known I was going to live this long, I would have taken better care of myself”. The man’s father had died far too early in life and Mickey Mantle apparently assumed his was the same fate, so he’d lived fast and never slowed down before it was too late. But I believe that baseball did make an impression on our host and it definitely made an impression on me.

Today is a good day to tell someone close to you that you love them.
Today is a good day to hug someone so they know you care.
Today is the first day of the rest of your life.
Today is a good day to be still and know your God.

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