Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Lean On Me

Another emotional week for the Meyer family.

Football is over, which is always a bit sad. The week between football and basketball, the boys drift around, wondering what to do with themselves. They love football, they love being with the guys, working hard, playing their hearts out, feeling close to their dad.

The freshman team ended the season 9-1. It's a group of very talented athletes and it's been so fun to watch them play. What is incredible to me is the strong connection these guys have to one another. They are a team, in the very best sense of the word. Their love and support of one another extends well beyond the field. Watching Zach, watching his teammates, I experience a sense of wonder. It's clearly more than football.

The freshmen had their end-of-the-year celebratory banquet. All the players were introduced, shook the coaches' hands and got their certificates. Zach, being Dave's son, took one look at the coaches outstretched hand and threw his arms wide for a bear hug.

Then a few of the kids presented the coaches with gifts and said a few words. Zach was first to go. He introduced the freshman head coach, Smitty. I recorded it so you can see, but the audio is hard to hear...and the camera work leaves a little to be desired. What he said was, "Well, my mom will be the first to tell you that I'm not much of a talker, but here goes. I had an awesome season. I had the best time ever. And, Smitty, he's one of the best coaches I ever had..." At this point, his voice began to crack. Soon, Zach was crying and the entire place was silent. Finally, he took a deep breath, looked at Smitty and said, "Let's just say, you remind me of my dad." Then Zach leaned into Smitty, who just hugged him. I was so proud of Zach, and as I looked around the room, many people were crying, remembering Dave, sending support to Zach. Another moment in time, etched on our hearts forever.

Last night was the JV/Varsity football banquet. It was Kenny's turn to close out the season. I'm always amazed by the phenomenon that is Kenny and football. He's out there every day, working hard, even knowing that he'll only get to play one or two downs each game. He's a loyal, expressive, vocal fan, cheering and shouting and sometimes groaning from the sidelines. I remember when he first wanted to play football. I thought, "Well, this is it. If he's going to get beat up, this is where it will happen." I prayed for his teammates to accept him, to include him. I prayed he wouldn't feel like an outcast or a burden. I remember watching his teammates help him get his shoulder pads on straight, get his cleats tied, find his position on the field. I watched as after practice, players gave Kenny high fives and slapped him on the back. I watched Kenny simply glow with the feeling of being a part of something bigger than himself. These guys did something more than simply tolerate Kenny; they embraced him, with all his quirks.

The Most Inspirational Player Award on any team is something special. It's voted on by the players themselves. At WaHi, this award has been re-named The Dave Meyer Most Inspirational Player Award. It usually goes to a senior. This year, there were 23 seniors on the football team. Incredible kids. I remember Dave talking fondly about many of them. A couple of them had their DM bands on their picture displays. These kids played with heart all year, so many of them exemplifying that kind of inspirational spirit that Dave showed. And yet, when the recipient was announced, it was Kenny.

Kenny is inspiring in many ways, don't get me wrong. He works hard, against odds that most of us never come close to understanding. He definitely has an indomitable spirit and an unflagging loyalty. But his receiving this award says a lot more about the players on his team than it does about him. It shows their unselfish caring for someone else. They gave Kenny a gift beyond measure, a moment with his dad. And I hope every one of those players realizes how grateful we are and know, in their hearts, that Dave is so very proud of them.

To those players, and to the coaches and staff that led the way, making it possible, thank you.

In other news,
Mom, Grandma and Aunt Anita came for a visit. It was wonderful to see them.

Also, thank you to the prayer warriors who continue to pray for little Nicholas. Good news! The last scan shows improvement. They can still see where the lesions were, but they are fading. Praise the Lord!! Keep praying for the Wellington-Baker family.

Yes, the floors are almost done. We would have had it nailed (ha, ha) after the second weekend, but ran out of wood. Here's a photo of the same doorway Duke was sitting in.

Doesn't it look fabulous? And I can run a chop saw, a jig saw, a table saw, two kinds of nail guns and only hit my thumb once. I AM Ty Pennington!

We've also been kind of wrapped up in TwoFace the past few weeks. He disappeared for 4 days, which is very unlike him. He came back and has some kind of neurological problem. They think it's ideopathic vestibular syndrome, which happens to old dogs, but since TwoFace is neither old nor a dog, we don't know for sure. It basically means he looks like he's spent the evening in a kitty pub. He can't walk straight and tilts to the right. At first he couldn't control his tongue, either, but now he's got that down, so he's doing a little better. Time will tell, I guess. The vet said sometimes they get better, sometimes not. He is walking a bit straighter, not just in circles, and he only falls every 5th or 6th step now, so he is improving. It's tough to watch, he's always been such an elegant cat in his tuxedo!

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Honoring Those Who Served

"It is the soldier, not the reporter,
Who has given us freedom of the press.
It is the soldier, not the poet,
Who has given us freedom of speech.
It is the soldier, not the organizer,
Who has given us the freedom to demonstrate.
It is the soldier, Who salutes the flag,
Who serves beneath the flag,
And whose coffin is draped by the flag,
Who allows the protestor to burn the flag."
- Father Dennis Edward O'Brian, USMC
(often incorrectly attributed to Charles M. Province)

"People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf."
- George Orwell (attributed)

"Never in the face of human conflict has so much been owed by so many to so few."
- Winston Churchill ("Battle of Britain")

"If a man hasn't discovered something that he will die for, he isn't fit to live."
- Martin Luther King, Jr

"Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country."
- John F. Kennedy

"I am not bound to win, but I am bound to be true. I am not bound to succeed, but I am bound to live by the light that I have. I must stand with anybody that stands right, stand with him while he is right, and part with him when he goes wrong."
- Abraham Lincoln

American Soldier by Toby Keith

I'm just trying to be a father,
Raise a daughter and a son,
Be a lover to their mother,
Everything to everyone.
Up and at 'em bright and early,
I'm all business in my suit,
Yeah, I'm dressed for success from my head down to my boots,
I don't do it for money, there's bills that I can't pay,
I don't do it for the glory, I just do it anyway,
Providing for our future's my responsibility,
Yeah I'm real good under pressure, being all that I can be,
And I can't call in sick on Mondays when the weekends been to strong,
I just work straight through the holidays,
And sometimes all night long.
You can bet that I stand ready when the wolf growls at the door,
Hey, I'm solid, hey I'm steady, hey I'm true down to the core,
And I will always do my duty, no matter what the price,
I've counted up the cost, I know the sacrafice,
Oh, and I don't want to die for you,
But if dyin's asked of me,
I'll bear that cross with an honor,
'Cause freedom don't come free.
I'm an American soldier, an American,
Beside my brothers and my sisters I will proudly take a stand,
When liberty's in jeopardy I will always do what's right,
I'm out here on the front lines, sleep in peace tonight.
American soldier, I'm an American,
An American,
An American soldier

Friday, November 03, 2006

There for you

Yesterday I was so lonely for Dave. He seems so far away and I ache for him. Every little thing reminds me of him and there are so many moments I need him there. So many, many things I want him to see. And while I know, in an abstract way, that he is still there, I miss the connection with him, I miss feeling him near, knowing his heart. I don't know what heaven is like. I don't know whether Dave can truly "look down" on us here. I don't know of any scripture that addresses what kind of connection those in heaven will have with us here, if any. I've written before about how strong my connection with Dave was here on earth...and that I truly, truly believed with all my heart and sould that I would still feel him even after he was gone. But I hardly ever do. I don't sense his presence the way I thought I would.

And yet, Doug, (if you don't know the Doug story, see: Doug Andrews and scroll down the page a bit) he seems to be everywhere. I have dreams of Doug, vibrant and alive. The songs on the radio remind me of Doug. I think it's that it's been so hard to find any peace about Doug's death; it's a way of processing all that. My mind returns restlessly to Doug in a way it doesn't to Dave. So anyway, yesterday, in the car, I was driving and crying, reaching out to Dave, screaming with my heart, for him to send me something, anything.

I turned on the radio and this song was playing. The first words I heard were, "When you breathe, I wanna be the air for you." And it was like I was surrounded by Dave. For just a moment, I felt his love wrap around me, hold me close, like he really was in the very air. For a moment, I was very aware of all the many ways Dave is still there for us.

And of course, reality came crashing back down a few minutes later. It was a good moment, but so far from what I want, what I need.

In the meantime, we keep on breathing. Some of you understand how very hard that is. Some of you know how on some days, it's all we can do.

So here's what we'be been up to the last few weeks.

More football. Here's a pic of Kate entertaining the little ones at a game. Thanks, Julie!

And some of the Zachs, thanks Tawnie!

And the team in VICTORY!

Kate is growing up so very fast. She's becoming a young woman before my eyes. In celebration of that, she got her ears pierced. She asked her brothers to come with her and support her. They were so cute.

And the other thing...we got new carpet, which involved moving our furniture around a million times, since we had to paint, too, and now we've torn out all the floors in the entry, living room, dining room and kitchen:

So that we can put in new hardwood floors. Denise is on her way as I write, and we'll be working all weekend. I hope to have a beautiful "after" picture for all you diy-ers! Here it is, waiting to go in!

I also put a hit counter on this website, thinking that it might be time to close it down since the comments are few and far between, and mostly from folks I talk to anyway. But it looks like we're getting about 150 hits a day. So I guess I'm not completely talking to myself. Know that I appreciate those of you kind enough to comment more than I can say.

Also, please visit Butch Gamboa's website...see the link on sidebar. He's struggling and they could use all the Team Meyer prayers they can get. His wife, Kara, is an absolute gem. They are young and newly married. This disease is so cruel.

Also, Matt Downey, 30 years old, married only a year, and author of the phrase "No Day But Today," died in October. You can visit his website here. I'm sure they would appreciate your kind thoughts as well.

Love you all...

I'll Be There For You by Bon Jovi

I guess this time you're really leaving
I heard your suitcase say goodbye
Well as my broken heart lies bleeding
You say true love, it's suicide

You say you've cried a thousand rivers
And now you're swimming for the shore
You left me drowning in my tears
And you won't save me anymore

I pray to God you'll give me one more chance, girl

I'll be there for you
These five words I swear to you
When you breathe I want to be the air for you
I'll be there for you
I'd live and I'd die for you
Steal the sun from the sky for you
Words can't say what a love can do
I'll be there for you

I know you know we're had some good times
Now they have their own hiding place
I can't promise you tomorrow
But I can't buy back yesterday

And baby you know my hands are dirty
But I wanted to be your valentine
I'll be the water when you get thirsty, baby
When you get drunk, I'll be the wine

I'll be there for you
These five words I swear to you
When you breathe I want to be the air for you
I'll be there for you
I'd live and I'd die for you
Steal the sun from the sky for you
Words can't say what a love can do
I'll be there for you


And I wasn't there when you were happy
I wasn't there when you were down
I didn't mean to miss your birthday, baby
I wish I'd seen you blow those candles out

I'll be there for you
These five words I swear to you
When you breathe I want to be the air for you
I'll be there for you
I'd live and I'd die for you
Steal the sun from the sky for you
Words can't say what a love can do
I'll be there for you