Fast Pitch In Heaven
I met Tracy the spring our youngest son was playing on the baseball
travel team with her older brother. She was a thin, happy spirited
little gal. Always with her parents to cheer for her brother and the
team. She told me she had been playing softball with the girls' team
in the nine-year- old division, and they were pretty bad, but she did
her best and loved the game. She wanted to play fast pitch when she
got older. I told her she was making a good start playing, even if
they didn't always win!
As spring turned into summer and we traveled throughout the state
playing against teams in our division, I noticed Tracy's Mom was
quite watchful of her actions, always concerned if there was a chill
in the air as we sat in the area where Moms sit during these games,
mostly on hard bleachers! While Dads seemed to stand near the
coach's corner, ready to give him advice if need be, a friendship
began between Karen and I.
Tracy was so sweet and a loving child toward her family. I commented
on this to Karen, and then she told me Tracy had leukemia and was in
remission. She wanted more than anything to play softball with the
league that year, and so the doctor gave her permission. Karen was
afraid it was too much, but she had to believe that Tracy would beat
this catastrophic disease, and placing her faith in God, wanting as
normal of a life for Tracy as possible, she allowed her to play.
They went to her games at the school field, which were held at an
earlier time than her brothers.
One evening after a winning game our families went out to eat. Over
pizza and salad, Karen told me Tracy was going to the children's
hospital the next day for her yearly check up. We wished them well,
expecting things to be just fine.
A couple of days later when we were at a game watching the boys, I
noticed Tracy and her Mom weren't there. I made my way to Tracy's
Dad, and asked him how the checkup had gone.
"Not good," he said. "The cancer is back." The tears swelled in his eyes,
and I said how sorry I was to hear that.
The baseball season ended, school began, and Tracy started chemo
treatments. It was a long process for her. She went to school as
much as possible, other days were hard for her. I kept in contact
with Karen, praying for this little gal we all had come to love so much.
Our daughter was graduating that spring, and although baseball
resumed its place in our lives, we had an open house for our
graduating senior, and invited Tracy and her family. Tracy looked a
little thinner but wanted her picture taken at the open house as she
was wearing a new blond wig!
Everyone was going in so many directions that fall. I tried my best
to keep up with Karen and how Tracy was doing. Her good days were
getting to be fewer, yet they clung to hope and prayed God would
On a sunny January day, Tracy gave up her battle with cancer, and the
Lord took her to her new Heavenly home. While attending the funeral
service we were happy to see Tracy's little friends were singing
favorite songs she had liked. They wanted to make this a celebration
of Tracy's life. It was a beautiful tribute to a sweet little girl from a loving
The burial took place across from the school Tracy attended. And
although a winter day, the snow was gone, and the sun was shining
during the graveside service. At the end of the service, the most
beautiful sound came from the Church across the street next to
Tracy's school. The Church bells rang out a beautiful hymn that day
for Tracy. I'd never before been to a burial where the bells rang
out so loud, and all her friends and family were there to hear.
I wonder if they play ball in heaven? Tracy never got her wish to
play on the girl's softball team in high school. She no longer lives
in pain, her body is whole. I'll bet she would be a fast little runner!
And to be a player for the Lord's Team, Wow! What a game that would be!
Play ball, Tracy! Play ball!
~ Diane Dean White ~
Thelamb212 @ aol.com
Diane is a columnist, freelance writer and author of two books. She is married to Stephen and they reside on the Carolina Coast. They are the parents of three grown children and three grand gals. You may visit Diane’s website and see more
of her work at www.DianeDeanWhite.com
[ By: Diane Dean White Copyright © 2002 -- submitted by: Diane Dean White (Thelamb212 @ aol.com) ]
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