Life never turns out the way you think it will. That seems very cliché, but I bet all of us, in one way or another, had plans that they were sure to happen in their lives that either didn’t, or didn’t happen in the way that they thought it would. When I was 8, I was sure I was going to be a major league baseball player. I knew that was what I was going to do. I was gonna be rich, famous, and on a Wheaties box. Then, I went to a few baseball showcases. I was ready to show off my skills to the country. There, I met other players who were far and away better than me. As the years went on, I was always playing against players that were better than me. During my senior year in high school, I knew that I was never going to make it as a baseball player. So, I started coaching baseball. I am still doing it to this day. Not exactly what my plan was, but it turned out good.
About 6 years ago, I got married. I had the rest of my life planned out. We were going to have kids, buy the white picket fence house, and be the All American Family. It seemed to be going well for a while, but, like I said, life never turns out the way you plan it. It happened quick, almost out of nowhere. “I’ve been seeing someone else. I want a divorce.” It hit me like a ton of bricks. Here was the person I wanted to spend the rest of my life with, the person I sacrificed so much for, telling me she doesn’t want to be with me anymore. Try as I must, I could not save it. Another curveball life sent me.
For 2 years, I was just going with the flow of life. Going to work, coaching, gym, hanging with friends, going on dates. I even had a few relationships but nothing special. Oddly, I wasn’t angry or depressed. I was actually fine. Just not where I thought I would be. Then, one day, someone walked into a bar. Her name was Bridgette. What started out as me buying her a drink turned into us talking for hours. No, we didn’t get drunk! If you know anything about me, I’m not a big fan of listening to people talk. I get bored quick. I guess I just don’t find many people these days interesting. But, I listened to every word she said. I knew I wanted to get to know her more. I just hoped she felt the same way.
Needless to say, she did. We spent almost every day together. Within a year, we moved in together. Was I actually about to get engaged again? After the failure of the first one, I did not think I wanted to put myself through that again. But, I knew this was what I wanted. Only a month ago, I threw a surprise birthday party for her. She was stunned. All of our friends were there. It was perfect. In the last part of the night, I popped the question. Everyone was clapping, and she was stunned. Everything was great. Strangers that we did not know came up and congratulated us. It truly was an amazing night. I would be lying if I told you I did not start thinking about my plans again. This is the woman I am going to have my children with, spend the rest of my life with, and make memories with.
Sensing a theme here? Another curveball. Last week, Bridgette got tests results back from a cyst that she has on one of her ovaries. It has grown a little, has something on it, and the doctors aren’t sure what it is. It could be anything, but we all know what the worst case scenario is. I’m not even going to say the word. Naturally, Bridgette is scared. I am being strong for her, keeping her spirits up, making her laugh. But the truth is, I am scared to death for her. Not because it puts my plan in jeopardy, but because this sweet, caring, woman may be about to go through the toughest battle of her life. I have plans for all the scenarios. I have everything mapped out. But, I have learned over the years that while it is good to have a plan, it most likely won’t turn out that way. So, we will be going to the doctors today. We will be praying for good news but planning for the bad, knowing that there will be many curveballs along the way. Am I overreacting? Am I worrying too much? Probably. But that’s what we do when we face these challenges. So, we are going to approach this the same way I approached baseball my whole life. We are sitting on that fastball, ready to hit it out of the park, but mindful of that curveball and ready to adjust too.