Friday, April 24, 2015

Story, Reaching Beyond by David Russell

Hello Grafted In Reader,
Spring continues to roll on in my corner of blog-land, but the temperatures reflect more a sense of winter where I reside. For some of you, the fall season with its unique features is ongoing.
I have been doing more writing this month, and we also moved to a condo, so the unpacking process will continue for a while.

I want to share one of my story efforts with you, and welcome comment. It was developed from a writing exercise I participated in recently. My hope is to publish it one day in an anthology, or set of short stories by myself. Here is the story of three different responses to life difficulty.

Reaching Beyond
David Russell
“Life is difficult son, you may often be knocked down but you will not be knocked out. There are other ways you can be an active young lad,” Coach Ted of Scotty’s little league team stated.
“That was quite the play you tried to make. Unfortunately you broke your arm. In a few weeks though you will be as good as new, Scotty,” Coach Ted rubbed the lad’s head while commenting.
“I was so close to getting the batter out and slipped on the patch of dirt,” Scotty recalled holding back the tears.
A moment later Scotty added, “Coach, I wanted to play this summer, and it’s only mid-June.”
“I know you are becoming quite the pianist. Work up a good rendition of Take Me Out To The Ballgame, and – who knows,” commented coach trying to sooth the misfortune.
Scotty had been receiving piano lessons for nearly seven months and was in the three-month recital sponsored by the local music teacher’s association. He did spend the rest of his summer vacation  playing video games with Doug and Ken, two of his friends from school. During July he and his parents took a couple day trips to the lake and automobile museum.s He was more consistent with practicing piano.
“Scotty, I think you will be ready for the piano recital in January. Those three Chopin preludes are sounding very good,” Ms. Carter, his piano teacher remarked after one of his lessons in December.
“Do I get two weeks off for Christmas and New Years,” Scotty inquired.
“You sure do. Have fun and give a couple people a smile,” Ms. Carter exhorted.
In late January, the one-year point, the music teacher’s association hosted a local recital at the high school. The program was aired across the region on cable television. Scotty played three short pieces by Chopin. There were nine other students who participated. Scotty had taken his difficult moment, baseball injury, and turned the occasion into something he could cope with in his young life.

A Pitcher’s Out
Ace Howard had dreamed of becoming a major league baseball player since his uncle took him to a Detroit Tigers game 15 years previous. Then, he was age seven, and quite intrigued with the “big show” and its trappings. Now, at age 22 Ace was pitcher for the minor league team, The Ramblers.
Manager Dixon told him, “Ace, you are being scouted by the big team, and might be called up during the late summer. Keep working on your technique and less fancy stuff out there. I’ve seen guys get hurt by trying to be so cool.”
“OK Mr. D, as you say,” Ace acknowledged.
It was August 18, and The Ramblers were at 500 for the season. They were in a weekend series against the Ohio Munsters. Ace was called to relieve the starting pitcher in the seventh inning. The Ramblers had a commanding lead in the game.
“Batting next for the Munsters is Adam Isaacson,” the public address announcer stated. The first two pitches were low and away, and high and away. On the third pitch, Ace did a fancy turn that he had nearly perfected, dropped the ball and fell on the ground with instant pain in his right Achilles. He also felt sudden numbness in his forearm, his pitching arm.
“You are gonna be out the rest of the season, so try some rehab and come back for spring training,” Manager Dixon advised hours after the incident.
“Hell no. If I cannot have the “big show” this year, there isn’t gonna be any coming back,” Ace texted back.
“Ace, no one is going to beg you. You are a grown man and can make your decisions. Life is difficult and what you do about that will tell others about what you’re made of,” his team-mate Bud K confided over a couple cold brews.
“Nobody gives a rat’s trap about what I do or don’t do. They’ll turn their attention to the next potential super-star,” Ace responded somewhat angrily.
As the days and weeks passed, Ace more less gave up on his baseball future and startyed drinking more regularly. He could not rise above his short-term difficulty, but instead perceived it to be a sentence on what he held dear. The Ramblers finished the season at 500, and Ace finished his career in baseball.

Across The Fifty Yard-line
Bruce Rogers had been starting QB with his university team. He had begun to have talks with both GreenBay and Buffalo.
Coach Duffy told the players during halftime in their final season game,
“Boys, Life is difficult, but you have taken the road less traveled and continue to push through. I read those words in a 1980s book by M. Scott Peck titled, “The Road Less Traveled”, and those words are so true for most of us. Keep that in mind as you proceed through life.”
During the final game of the season and quarter, Bruce was tackled on catching a pass and in the pile-up sustained major injury to his right knee. He would be out of commission for a few months. His dad encouraged,
“Bruce, you are not out of the game for good. This injury is one injury not the sentence that says ‘it’s over’ move on. One might think Buffalo and GreenBay will be more impressed with how you handle this setback alongside your skills as a player. Life is difficult, and you can take the high road and God will be with you at each corner and crossing.”
Bruce thought of his dad’s words during the next few months that followed. His daily routine included college classes and rehab therapy.
“Bruce, I have enjoyed working with you on improving mobility in your knee and lower extremity,” Stacy encouraged during their last session.
“I have enjoyed working with you too. How about going for lunch with me,” he inquired.
“Well, um, meet you at the Student Union Grill?”
“Is 12:30 okay for you?”
Stacey nodded yes in agreement. They did have lunch and thereafter occasionally crossed paths on campus.
That May, Bruce graduated and over the next few weeks decided to give the Buffalo Bills training camp a good post college try.
“Rogers, we are pretty darn happy with your performance. Our team needs some new blood and new spirit,” the club owner told him after one practice.
“I want you to play during the upcoming season, and will put you on defense for a few games,” the Bills head coach informed.
Bruce did quite well to meld in withg the team. The Bills won their first three games, and lost in overtime in their fourth to Detroit. During the next few games, Bruce briefly played the QB position. In the final two games of the season he played one complete quarter as qB, and was on defense otherwise.
“We want to honor Bruce Rogers for the effort he has shown this year as a Buffalo Bill. We finished the year with 13 wins and three losses. Much credit goes to Bruce for the example he set, and to the team for the effort they have demonstrated. We also acknowledge the parents of Bruce Rogers for the belief they expressed to their son. He is a fine young man,” the club owner pronounced at the final game halftime show. Fans across the stadium could barely contain themselves as they showed their team a verbal outpouring of collective support.

-Bruce would likely live with the potential of his knee giving him trouble from time to time, but much could be said for attitude, support by others, and his quiet unshakable faith in an Almighty God who had Bruce’s interest and welfare in mind.
Bruce, Ace, and Scotty each reached beyond their misfortune, and made a choice that seemingly fit them at the time. Scotty used another ability as a young lad. Ace turned inward after losing the one dream in life he held dear. Bruce lived with his difficulty over time, and over time demonstrated a willingness and desire to come back to the game of football.
NOTE: This is a fictional account and names and places are created from this author's own imagination.
Kevod Yeheveh, His presence be with us in the up and down moments in life.
Mellow Roc :)

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