On Friday before break, the faculty played the 8th grade boys in the annual basketball game. The boys have won once (twice according to some sources who refute a score from 15+ years ago) in the past 22 years. Danny is an amazing athlete, and I love watching him play in this game.
This year, as I watched him, for the first time in five years, I wasn't afraid. I wasn't sitting with my knuckles in my mouth, worried someone would elbow him in his fragile frame. I wasn't worried he'd list to the left and fall.
I watched him play, and I watched what has changed. He plays once a year, and so he doesn't know how to play defense without his left arm. He told me the next day how he needs to step to the left so he is defending with his arm.
I'd seen that. I'd watched him play a game that wasn't his.
So, instead of being afraid, I sat and watched who he is now. I had a moment of sadness.
I don't do that much. I was told on February 11th, 2011 that he would die. I was told that for weeks and months, that he probably wouldn't survive. So, I have lived in gratitude that he lived. I haven't thought about what he lost.
But Fridayy morning, watching him play a game with new rules, for the first time, I felt sad for what he lost.
Then, of course, within seconds, I realized the luxury of that thought.
Danny and I are so fortunate, and we know that. We have so much. I'm humbled by him. When I asked him how the game went, he said he had fun, but that he would have liked to have made that 3-pointer. That was the first game he's played in that he didn't score.
And he was okay about that. And I was more than okay to realize I went from fear to sadness to gratitude. Yes, he isn't the same physical being. But how luciky are we? Everyone changes. Everyone grows older. We all must face realities that aren't easy.
But how lucky am I that I'm married to a man who faces life with humility and courage.
That same day, I opened up dozens of cards from my students. They were sweet, thoughtful, grateful. At the end of the day, students were in my room for the afternoon social. I had six boys, and they said, casually, how great of a basketball player Mr. Cribby was. They saw what I missed. They saw him steal the ball, turn it over, grab it, throw it. They saw all of what he did, what he could do.
Their eyes were wide with respect. These kids only know Mr. Cribby with one arm. They saw a great basketball player. A great role model.
I'll tell Danny about this blog once I post it.
Be well, everyone.