There is something powerful about being a part of a team. Your contribution gets magnified when it is in lockstep with the contribution of others who are pulling on the same rope that you are. They say that two horses pulling together can drag WAY more weight that the two horses can individually. I’ve seen the same dynamic play out in baseball and softball. You get a group of good kids together who play as a team for 7 full innings and you will win a lot of games against teams who are more talented. Being a part of a team is special, whether it is in sports, at work, or just your family.
Losing a teammate is hard. At K Cancer Baseball we recently lost a #Teammate, that is what we call all of the kids that we meet who are battling childhood cancer, #Teammates. Through our work, they allow us the privilege of getting to know them and we try to step alongside them, as best we can, during their struggle. Sometimes we are able to spend time with them and over time, like members of our baseball and softball team, you start to notice their strengths and weaknesses. Then, pretty soon, they are contributing to the cause and you are made better because of it.
This was the case with a special young #teammate and his family. His name is Ridha. Ridha was an incredible young guy with a smile that would light up a room. He was incredibly kind and appreciative about everything good that came to him in spite of all of the bad that came his way via his battle with Childhood Cancer.
Like any good teammate, he wasn’t just a taker, he was a giver. You would go to see him with the intention of doing something to make his day a little better and put a smile on his face. You would leave feeling better about yourself and the world around you and you would find yourself smiling for no reason. That is the impact that true teammates have on those around them.
We lost a true #Teammate when Ridha passed from this world to the next. His smile will be sorely missed. There is something amazing about being a part of a team though. You create deeper memories than you do any other way. Pay attention the next time you hear a couple of old guys who played sports together as kids. They can’t remember their age, but they can still remember games they played, wins and losses, and the feeling of just being a part of the team. One day in the distant future I am planning on sitting down with my old #Teammate Ridha and laughing about the good ‘ol times when we were #Teammates.
“Ridha, you remember that time you were in treatment and that burglar thought he was going to do you harm by breaking into your house and stealing your video games and TV only to have the community link arms and “Beat The Burglar” by contributing money and replacing the stuff? Do you remember when the guys on the team won that tournament and they thought so much about how you inspire them that they gave you the trophy plaque?”
I am looking forward to the day when a couple of old #Teammates can just sit around and share stories. While it is hard losing a #Teammate, it does not compare to the joy of being #Teammates. The next time you are around the people who are a part of your team (sports, friends, co-workers, family), let them know how much you appreciate what they contribute to the team. Thanks Ridha…