Dear Anziano Robertson,
Sending you electronic hearts. No shocker here, eh? You have a good strong heart! Reminds me of you running that 400 m. dash and win, win, winning! I will miss this thing again this spring.
You know that sugar kills right?! So instead of spending a ton on shipping and you receiving an exciting package of high fructose corn syrup goodness (evil), I’m sending you this email. A belated Valentine wish, but more importantly…..an early email. I am not waiting until Sunday night this week. Can’t bear to think of you missing another email from me, AND…..I can’t bear to find an empty mailbox 4:30 a.m., Monday morning!!! I wonder if you have any regrets in not sending email to me. Hm. I would much rather get your three lines, than NOTHING, though. Although they nearly feel the same, buddy! ha ha…….Calm the heck down, okay?! I’m teasing, or not.
Let’s try again. Hi, Donavon. I am pretty well. Now let’s get to it….
The State swim meet was wonderful and hearbreaking at the same time. So great to have the creation of the 2A Division. I would like to thank the creators of this thing, and likely will write to them. It gives our kids a chance to compete and to shine! After years of living in the shadow of greatness, at a most awkward distance from the greats such as Wasatch, Park City, and other legends, it is our kids’ time! Also wonderful that we could take our full team, or nearly all of them. 30+ kids, unlike the two we shuttled by van last year. That was great too! I wish you and the others could have had this experience. We would have benefited from the relay that you anchored….although our current one looked pretty great!
GIRLS: Our girls won the title! Took home a first place trophy in the first ever State of Utah newly created 2A Division. A couple of our swimmers set state records. Arial took first in the 50 EASILY and set a state record. Also in the 100, I think? Jace H. swam a 23, in the boys race. Yes!
Devon had a season best in her race as well. Different heat. Nearly 30 flat. She was disappointed she didn’t reach a 29. “Next year” didn’t satisfy as well as a hot, square meal at Chuck-a-Rama. Thanks to Mr. **ndry’s school credit card, Devon soon felt much better in being fed to fullness. Her stomach has always been the best way to feel good. Even as an infant. ha ha 🙂 You were not this way as much. Maybe the food in Italy has cured you toward weight gain. Or not. At least made up for all those lost meals we supplemented with Subway and lots of cereal, eggs and hashbrowns. 🙂
BOYS: The boys had second place and a trophy in hand. Ahead some 22 points going into the final 400 relay. Took 1st in this race. Everyone went crazy in cheering. With sure victory to come I was uncontainable. They would at least receive 2nd place and a trophy.
This was dashed by the decision of one turn judge. I am thinking it was a misview perhaps. The boy, H. Jones, swore he touched the wall in his flip turn, but this is not what was seen. The judge, a volunteer parent of a swimmer from another tiny team down south. We can only speculate, and this does NO good in looking back. Rehash does not change a thing, I know. Pointless, but I must at least report to you. So our boys 400 relay team was disqualified in this. Fell to third. No trophy. Another team took 2nd place. Hm… The team of the town from which the deciding judge is from.
This singular decision destroyed our swimmer in one quick, erred glimpse. The end. Snubbed out this young man who had done so well all day. Left an aweful sinking feeling in the pit of many stomachs. This made it more difficult to celebrate the girls’ accomplishment. Our coach did everything he could to appeal. Nothing could be done. Could only reassure. I told them between sad hugs, “Don’t hang your heads. You did your best. And in my mind you rightly are the winner”…….. 2nd place, minus the trophy. If I can get times from Fawcett, then I will send them. Morgan swam a 109 in the butterfly and ended up 7th….just off the medal platform. Bah! Ariel, Stephanie (Brazil), Sam C. , Jace H., Eisley S. , even Tess B., and Girls Relay…..all medaled. I may have missed someone. Dunno. Oh, yes. Devon was part of that winning relay team!
It was so momentous. Firsts of anything are that way, I think. Not sure we understand the specialness of some things until years later looking back. What if we understood this in the moment….in being present for each other? Perhaps we could spare ourselves the heartbreak. Deep thoughts, huh? The fabric of regret. Don’t think we realize that not just anyone experiences a State Title…even if it is 2A Smallsville, it is HUGE in many ways. We were truly a swim team family this year. I will send pictures.
The moral of the story with regard to Losing and LOSS….such is life. In games, in work, in love, in living, and in dieing. The words, actions, decisions one has given and leaves behind…..have great influence on so many others. Both short and long term ripple effects. Even in perpetuating traditions. Both good and bad. This is grounds enough for CAUTION. Like a flashing yellow light. I don’t normally see yellow in this way. Mostly I see it in my playful disposition, or as hype and fun times. Not so much as slow down, toward careful.
As we move on in living, what do we learn outside of pain and joy, and all the other emotions? The knowledge of our place in any thing is necessary. Too often, this eludes us. Instead we ignore, or are distracted, lose focus. Knowledge is good and needful, but can not supply the lesson, or the wisdom which we need. Where does this heart substance and perseverance come from? God? Our soul knowing? Love? It is delicous if and when it is tasted, savored.
HOME OF THE BRAVE: The team was escorted some seven miles in a police and fire truck led procession up school house hill to the alma mater. This was amazing. All lights and sirens, air horns blowing “Wake UP! Take notice PEOPLE!” With bus windows open wide, and althletes hanging outside and waving. Shouting hellos. Some residents coming out in waving, jumping up and down like little kids and some exhuberant swim coaches. Some choosing warm, in simply flipping porch lights on and off and on. Cold winter wind nipping faces, but barely fazing in a STATE of euphoria.
The boys were more than happy to share in all of this in spite of everything. Besides…all of everyone’s months and months of dedicated training had brought us to this point. What good is thanksgiving if it isn’t shared, right? So it was. It was a good and needed release.
Then a brief pep assembly. Each senior shared feelings and said goodbye to four years of hard work. After which I made a joke and said my piece. Something like…”.I love being a part of this thing. The district can and could never pay what this experience in service is worth. Even if I received nothing…..I would do it. In fact, if I had to pay an entry fee to help students….in this way or any other way…..I would pay it.” I meant it. Fawcett said to this thing that he was not sure he would pay for it, but this is a lie. I know him better than this. I have grown accustomed to setting him straight from time to time. ha ha. He pays plenty in sacrificing so much time and energy that he could easily send to other places, and to other people, like to a new wife and a one year old son. He was born to lead and to coach. I was born more to cheer, and on my better days….to teach, to write. 🙂 Sometimes to bleed bravely. Always to give thanks.
My association with Coach Fawcett and these youth means the world to me. They teach me so many things and it is easy to love all that they bring to the experience. Even the annoying things they do remind me of things that I should know.
So Coach Fawcett followed my remarks. You know, he is a gifted speaker, motivator. Genuine and feeling in spite of a gruff, unapproachable exterior. Redeeming, and able to find good and encouragement for kids even from disappointment. Worthy of nomination for Swim Coach of the Year. Maybe next time. His offering was a bit winded, like at practice at times….ha ha…even so it was a happy rest…before the next set of kick drill swim distances… ha ha…Then the swimmers cheered and hugged and posed for endless pictures.
It was wonderful and exhausting. Now silence and transition into otherness. Awkward. We will have a little party with the kids, with food, and water Polo in a couple weeks.
Everyone needs time to recalibrate. Then onward into Spring and toward Opera making, testing and a school year finish line. The long endurance race will soon turn to sprinting. With the promise of spring in the air…..and Summer sure to follow. In this there is hope and lots to smile about. I mostly crave the sunshine and romping with the dogs at Rockport. With lots of rainfall lately communities have suffered some flooding, but we will have more full reservoirs and water to drink this summer. 🙂
I hope you are well, Donavon. I love you. Sorry that my email missed the mark last week. No good excuse.
Devon and I missed the swim bus and the student body send off in the morning. I think I am just struggling with all of this coming to an end. Devon was pretty mad at me. Caught Jill Brown at Holiday Hills… and a kinder look from Fawcett than I’d expected. Devon told everyone it was my fault. It was. Then she thought no one believed her. Ahhh! Not sure which is worse enduring my delusions, or hers.
Also missed by me: the WONDERFUL, TRADITIONAL CELEBRATORY PLUNGE into the crystal blue dive pool at BYU. This loss due to my quick (not quick enough) change. I left the deck to change in the a-MAZING BYU women’s locker room. Then, in mazing and winding and WADING back, through millions of lounging 4A swimmers awaiting deck entry, the girls and Fawcett took the PLUNGE without me. Not being part of this hurt my feelings for a moment. Then it was okay….in realizing it is not about me.
The corridors were so plugged up with bodies and bags, and swim everything. Wow!!! I have been so plugged up and bogged down in so many ways lately…I guess. In my thinking, in my work, in my writing. Ahh! So I did not get wet in celebrating a State Title. That’s okay. Sometimes silence and refrain are just as well, I think. This is something I must learn. Perhaps someone is trying to tell me or teach me something here.
I love you, again and again! Have a great week. Love, Mom 🙂