feoNotes

Notes and Reflections by feoMike

Normal

take a look at this video. its a high school basketball game. no packed house; not too many people in the stands. jounior varsity even. fairly uneventful, right? a substitution. a missed foul shot. quick run down court. a nice three point, and then a quick foul. nothing of significance really happens in this 44 second video (11.5 seconds of clock time if you are super observant). maybe you are wondering about how short #4, the point gaurd who subs out is. maybe you sigh that a kid near the end of the game misses a foul shot. maybe you are like, wow that 3-point shot is from a pro distance, who is that kid. that's about it, right?

for all intents and purposes it just comes and goes. perhaps something happens after the video, in the last .5 seconds of game time. perhaps not. this is a normal game. a nothing.

now look at it again. it begins with a sbustitution of two players, and at about 6 or 7 seconds into the video the clapping gets louder. perhaps something special about that substitution.

indeed. but before i get into it, let me say, this 44 seconds makes me cry. it made me cry when i took the video, it makes me cry when i watch it again. it humbles me. it is perhaps the most significant thing i have seen in a long long time. by significnat here, i mean noteworthy; of great importance; an inflection point; worthy of attention. everyone should stand up and notice.

you see one of the substitutions, a normal kid/normal everyday high school student, isn't that normal. or at least he hasn't been for the past year. he is kind of extraordinary. about this time last year, one of those kids was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer. he spent the last year in chemo. prior to his diagnosis he was a simple everyday kid, who had just moved in next door to me. he played basketball. he ran. he liked school.

after diagnosis, and throughout the year, my wife and i watched his mother tirelessly care for his treatment, attack it and struggle with the disease. we watched, not just because they are next door neighbors, but also because the kid is a student of my wife's; in his class actually. you could see the boy struggle from what he once was. afterwards, weeks would go by and we wouldn't see him; either at the hosptial, or in bed, not able to get up, constantly loosing strength, withering like an old man becuase of the chemo. i'll be honest, i have no idea.

all i know is what i could read in his mom's face on the occasionnal hello, how's it going. the occasional talk about how much a struggle it is. because of this form of cancer, he also needed surgery, some removal of perhaps a bone or some musscle. he might not walk again, let alone run. today he can't get his foot to a 90 degree angle and he has to run with a slight hop.

nearly 6 years ago to the day of taking this video, i put my mom on a plane for hawawii where she would have her last vacation. during that vacation, a very agressive form of liver cancern would grow inside her like no tomorrow and in six short weeks take her from us. at the time of sending her off, we had no idea; she had no idea. from that point on, there wasn't much normal.

lots of us have this story. lots of us have had cancer take someone like this. indeed the kid next door's father was taken from him. lots of us never get normal again.

this video makes me cry, becuase it is a celebration of normal. it is the opportunity to reflect that everyday activities are the most important thing. it is a milestone that the kid got back to the court from the darkeset depths of therapy, of surgery and of unknown and fear. it is a testament that a normal 11.5 seconds is the thing we should live for.