Sepia Saturday challenges bloggers to share family history through old photographs.
This week’s Sepia Saturday prompt picturing a mustached swimmer with his trophies pays homage to the “Movember” efforts to raise awareness of men’s health issues. This November Matt Lauer and Al Roker of the “Today” show grew beards in support. They even agreed to have prostate exams live on national television because prostate cancer is the most common cancer among men and second most common cause of cancer-related deaths.
Prostate cancer is one of several cancers my dad had to deal with (although it’s not what killed him). But you would never have known it. In fact, Momma made everyone promise to pretend we didn’t know. Daddy put on a brave face and kept to his regular routines, ever on the go. I don’t know if he was embarrassed or just didn’t want us to worry. So pretend, we did.
However, it was difficult to fake nonchalance during the summer of 1998. My daughter’s Little League Fastpitch Softball team had won the district tournament and then traveled to Gainesville for the Virginia State Tournament. Daddy was undergoing radiation treatments at the time; nevertheless, he drove three hours to Gainesville and then back home almost every day just to watch her play. I knew the trip was especially hard on him, but I couldn’t let on.
|My dad (left) probably discussing strategy|
with Coach John Bell. No doubt Daddy once
again argued against the sac bunt.
Our team won the State Tournament qualifying them for the regional tournament. They won that one too which meant a berth in the World Series at Louisville, Kentucky where any dreams of a national title were quickly dashed.
But back home the friends and family of our Little League were still very proud of our first State win, quite an accomplishment for a league that was a mere three years old. So how does a League reward its All Stars?
|Western Branch Little League|
Virginia State and Region 4 Champions
With a party and trophies.
The League bought BIG trophies for the girls to thank them for bringing home some recognition at last and giving the League some clout in the local district. Not surprisingly, Daddy was there for the party to see that granddaughter get her trophy.
Maybe it is the awareness of one’s own mortality that makes a cancer victim determined to be a cancer survivor. In my dad’s case, his presence at the tournament was really no different from his behavior in healthier days. My parents were always their grandchildren’s biggest cheerleaders, never missing a game or performance if they could help it. Still I wonder if that pesky cancer didn’t amplify the urgency to be there to see the winning pitcher in her glory.
|Where trophies go to die -- a big bin in the garage|
For more stories and photos of moustaches and trophies, please visit my friends at Sepia Saturday.