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Baseball and Prayers

We went to Yakima this weekend. Poor Zach. I tell him often that it's a good thing he's smart, talented and handsome, because luck...well, he's got NONE of that!

While warming up a relief pitcher, Zach took a ball to the shin. Yep, you guessed it, not the healthy shin, not above or below the surgery site, nope...a DIRECT hit to his incision. The wound broke open, and there was blood everywhere! Sigh. And the look on his face, the tears when he realized that this was going to keep him from playing, it was absolutely heartbreaking. Sigh. A little first aid from our team doc, and he was back in, sore, but pretty much okay. Couldn't play in the field, but got to be the DH, and batted really well, so although he was disappointed, it could have been a lot worse.

We had fun in Yakima, even though it was SCORCHING hot! Baseball's winding down, the boys started BDAD (Blue Devil Athletic Development) today.

Zach and his friends gathered at the church last night. One of Zach's friends from youth group and school, Ashley Chivara, was in Mexico with her father. They were in a horrible car accident. Her father, aunt and uncle were killed instantly. Ashley is on life support. We don't know if she's still in Mexico or not, there was talk of life-flighting her to Seattle. Her mom is there with her now, Mom didn't go to Mexico with her initially, she was on a trip with her dad to see family. Zach's understanding is that they are giving Ashley 48 hours to come out of the coma, and if she doesn't, her mom will be faced with making decisions about continuing life support or not. Zach and Ashley are not close friends, but he cares for her a lot, and he is having a hard time coping. He said he held it together through the prayer vigil until afterwards when Cyndi hugged him, and he just broke down. We all are having a hard time understanding, grasping this. At 14 she should be swimming, playing, listening to music, running with her friends, blogging on her MySpace account and arguing with her parents, not fighting for her life in a hospital.

I'm ready to hide out and close my ears and shut off my phone. It seems the bad news just keeps rolling in. Like a flood, the water just keeps rising and rising, destroying lives, shaking faith, breaking hearts, and we struggle just to keep treading water, trying to keep from going under.

It's summer here. The sun blazes hot during the day and all living creatures seek a place where it's cool. The wheat fields are golden and rustle when the hot breeze stirs through. When you open a car door, the heat is a physical presence, it rolls out of the car and pushes you back, stealing your breath. As the sun goes down, the sky is black and clear, studded with a million stars. The air cools just a little. You can hear the ch-ch-ch-ch of the irrigation sprinklers across the fields. You can smell onions, fragrant, pungent, like opening a bag of Lays Sour Cream and Onion potato chips. People come out of their houses, and sit on porches in the evenings, drinking lemonade or iced tea, they stroll down the streets, hand-in-hand, with kids and dogs in tow. I've always loved summer, and there is something about a summer evening in Walla Walla. The first time Dave and I sat on his parents deck, just after sunset, and talked as the evening unfolded after a blistering day, the night air soothing, like aloe on a sunburn...that's when I knew, this is where we belong.

Even summer is tainted now. The relentless heat, the unforgiving sun pounding down, the sound of sprinklers and thumping basketballs on driveways...these bring back memories of last summer. Last July, trying desperately to hold onto hope, that fear knotted in my stomach, watching Dave as each new symptom arose, knowing somewhere deep inside that the beast was gaining ground, trying not to look, not to acknowledge, as if I believed that if I didn't see it, the beast would go away, thinking that like the boogeyman, this awful thing would feed and grow on my fear. Seeing the first few signs of decline, trying to wish it away, believing with all my heart that another miracle was just around the corner, terrified that we had run out of miracles. And eventually, the knowing, the sick, punched-in-the-gut feeling that there was nothing more to do. And not knowing how to cope with that.

This heat brings me back to those days in a very real way. It brings back the fear, the despair, the desperation. I hope that working through it again, will also bring back the connection, the love, the faith that was also there. Today, it's just raw. Like Zach's leg, a wound re-opened, painful and nearly unbearable.

Please pray for Ashley and her family. Love you all, Shell


  1. We are praying for Ashley and her family here at the Clark household. We got the call last night from our brother in law (Mr. Dill from Pi Hi) regarding Ashley. Morgan does not know Ashley well but she had 4 classes with her and she was often paired up with her. We are very sad and join you and your friends and family in prayer.
    Michelle I am sure this summer is hard as you remember this time last year. Your in my prayers and although it doesn't feel like it is enough God is good and somehow he holds our hand during these times.

  2. Dearest ChelleBelle,

    Someday, I will visit WallaWalla in summer and sit under the stars and hear the wind rustle through the fields, and smell those sweet onions, and we will try to forget....each of us, to forget the "summer of the beast", as we each have had one, as we are having now. Someday, summer will be innocent and new again, someday, some way. Someday, wounds will be healed and the flood of pain will subside, someday. Until then, we are here, listening, and holding you close, even if from afar. Sending you much love dear country mouse.

  3. Oh Michelle when will it end? Will it end? I don't think so as long as we live. So sorry to hear of Zach's leg. Hope it gets some time to heal. The news of Ashley and her family is terrible. Will keep she and her family in our prayers.
    Nice summer days like this should be enjoyed but in your case bring back memories of last summer day by day.
    Hope that you can find a bit of happiness for our 4th of July.
    Remember how many are right behind you.
    Keeping you in my prayers. God Bless You.

  4. Sounds like Mouat's Law for Zach...that's not good! Seems like the hammer, the ball, any other hard object always finds the place you don't want it too. Glad he still got to hit! I tore a ligament in my throwing elbow pitching for a 30 and over team the third game into the season, now all I can do is hit...looking at Tommy John surgery later this summer (9-12 month recovery)- so don't feel too bad Zach!
    We are praying for Ashley and her mom. I wonder sometimes too, but I have to keep believing God is in control and His plan is in motion, but somehow it is too hard sometimes to see it, feel it, grasp it.
    We are SOOOO excited to come and see you guys. Ryan especially keeps asking when we are going to get there! We're heading out tomorrow morning, so prayers for safe travel are appreciated. See you all soon!
    All our Love,
    Will and Stacy

  5. I have decided that God brought you to many of us because so many of us often need the prayers that only you and your family can bring ... I will pray for Ashley, and for you.

    Love to all of Team Meyer ... we can't wait to see you face to face ...


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