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Finding the silver lining

Last week, I wrote in this space about my upcoming trip to Florida for my son's baseball world series tournament. In fact, I'm supposed to be sitting there soaking up the sun right now. Instead, I am here at the office on Railroad Street happily typing on my computer.

The day that column appeared in print, I was sitting in a school board budget planning meeting when I received a phone call from James' coach. My baseball-loving son had just attempted to catch a fast ball with his mouth and broke a few teeth in the process.

As luck would have it, regular office hours were over at the dentist office, and this panicky mother attempted to find someone who knew what to do. I won't bore you with the details, but we made it back home that evening with teeth bonded back in place, a swollen nose, a black eye, a prescription for pain reliever guaranteed to put him out of his misery and the promise of a root canal in his near future.

The next few days brought decision making that I felt inadequate to do. The decisions involved my permission to let my son play in the game of his 17 years of life only three days after his accident, or being blamed for the rest of his life for letting his dream go down the drain. To top it off, I faced reaching into my depleted finances to pay for dental work and coming up short-handed.

I felt like the last straw had been placed on the camel's back. But God used others in ways I never imagined to carry that camel all the way to Timbuktu.

After spending what seemed like hours on the phone with the dentist, the endodontist, my mother, my father, James' father, James' coach, my boss, the dame and the little boy who lives down the lane, I decided to let James go to Florida, and I would stay here.

Then I attended the Relay for Life, where I chided myself for feeling hopeless. Here I saw hundreds who had faced cancer. Around that high school track amidst all the tents, smoky grills, purple shirts and painted faces, I saw triumph, and I soaked it up like a sponge. I haven't attended Relays in other towns, but from what I've read and heard, McDuffie County is the Cancer Society's Relay forte. From what I saw, cancer's got no chance against the determined forces here.

Since then, I have experienced nothing but kindness from co-workers, family, neighbors and friends. I was even bailed out of jail by someone I had met only moments before. And it was all for a good cause - it was a jail-and-bail at the Relay.

Web posted on Thursday, May 24, 2007

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