It was a baseball day like any other. The crowds filed into the stadium, in spite of the 90+ degree heat and the fact that this was the last week of the AAA baseball season.
Having first row seats on the end provided a great view of third base and left field but also included endless people occupying the seats to our right, legitimately or not. There was no-one around to check tickets and my guess is that a number of the new first rowers weren’t entitled to that proximity.
What I gained, however, was a profound realization of the everyday life that surrounded me in an unextraordinary setting. For example, a single file of senior citizens plus one made a noisy and somewhat clumsy entrance just prior to the singing of the national anthem. But what I noticed thereafter was far more important.
One of the ladies in the group was clearly afflicted with some form of arthritis that had made her movement difficult. As I glanced at her hands, her joints were mostly the size of ping pong balls. While I shuddered at the possibility that this may be my reality of the future, I carefully considered how painful her life must be.
The younger man to her left appeared to have just left Marine boot camp, complete with his camo hat and short haircut. But his behavior suggested that perhaps he had completed several tours of duty, resulting in some emotional issues that left him impulsive, fidgety and very loud. Whether or not he was suffering from PTSD makes absolutely no difference. Like his arthritis-plagued neighbor, he was clearly facing some significant obstacles.
And to our immediate right was a family consisting of grandparents and two boys. The elder of the two was wearing a high school jersey but had some sort of nervous system condition that resulted in his endless leg jerks. To his left was a much younger boy who was extremely thin but had some sort of developmental condition that left him with foot braces.
Maybe this is just another day in America. But while I reflected on my own general good health, I considered the fact that we all have some form of life hurdle to overcome. The endless entrances and exits of the two boys were slight inconveniences but I am grateful for the obvious lesson that my existence could have much greater hardships. Shalom.
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