I was in the park yesterday with my daughter, niece and nephew. They were playing tennis… or hitting a ball all over the court… and I sat on a bench with CoCo (our dog) and watched. It was so perfect.
Then a man walked over to me. he was older, black and wearing a hat like my grandfather used to wear. It was beige with a stripe around the brim. A little floppy but classy at the same time. He walked over to me and said, “I want to talk to you.” He had an authoritative voice, with a beautiful Caribbean accent, and it made me nervous and interested at the same time.
So I said, “What should we talk about?”
My niece looked at me, wondering what we were talking about. Who was this man? Was I in trouble?
We sat and spoke for a good 30 minutes before the rain clouds had started to gather.
He spoke to me about how talented my nephew was at playing tennis… that he had an eye hand coordination to make him a super star. My niece and I both laughed because coaches and scouts are constantly stopping my sister and asking if they can train him. He is one of those amazing kids that is just born incredibly athletically talented! He could be a star in Baseball, Basketball, Soccer, Tennis, Golf… basically anything with a ball!
I told him that my nephew lived in Rhode Island… which disappointed the hell out of him! He explained to me that the American’s don’t have any champions coming up in the ranks. Not since Andy Roddick have we had that #1 potential and we need more “real” talent to stay in the running. I said sorry… but I have kids who have “real” heart… and would love to play. He suggested tennis lessons for them.
Then we just started talking. He asked me what I did and I told him. He asked why I got into working with Brain Cancer patients and I introduced myself again to him… and added the fact that I was a 7 year Brain Cancer fighter. He couldn’t believe it. “But you look so healthy!” I thanked him. He then went on to say how cruel Cancer was and how sad he was for me and my children. I smiled and explained that I consider myself the luckiest woman in the world.
He couldn’t understand why I would say that, and kept asking me what my prognosis was. I just kept saying that I’m here now talking with you. My kids are playing and it’s a beautiful summer day. So, today is a good day. But he wouldn’t let it go at that.
“But how long did the doctor’s give you?” he asked over and over again.
I just kept smiling and saying today is a good day.
He finally got it and smiled back.
My grandfather used to play tennis all the time with my sister and wanted to turn her into a champion. He used to always talk about her amazing eye hand coordination.
I loved speaking to this kind man yesterday who was wearing my grandfather’s hat and talking about Jenny’s son, who could be a tennis star one day.
When I left him to go home… he stayed on the bench smiling.
I liked that.
And it was a good day.