Thursday, May 17, 2012
Stirring up memories
Pam has been digging out old photos at the house.
She’s been looking for “just the right ones” of Andy for various senior ads – yearbook, newspaper and others.
Several caught my eye – mostly the ones of him and his older sister Emma when they were little.
I love the one of Emma wearing my cowboy boots that completely covered her tiny legs. And Andy standing right beside her wearing a pair of my casual shoes, size 11, and he was probably 2 years old.
There’s a great photograph of the two of them sitting on the front porch of the historic home we lived in for some of our years in Aberdeen. Their smiles are priceless.
There were those from our trip to Disney World when Emma was, I guess, 9 years old and Andy 6. My favorite was one with Andy riding on his dad’s shoulders. Plus, in the box were several pictures of the two of them with several Disney characters.
The beach photos are special, too. Most of our family vacations have been spent there. I like the ones of Pam, Emma and Andy playing on the beach.
Then I found the pictures of a spring break trip to the Smoky Mountains. I had sort of forgotten about that trip, but the photos rekindled those memories.
There were many sports photos of Andy over the years – including one of him during his first season of T-ball.
In the team photo with him is his buddy Clay Henley. We lived in Aberdeen at the time.
Ironically, a couple of weeks ago Marshall Academy faced Oak Hill Academy in the state baseball playoffs.
Andy played for the Patriots. Clay played for the Raiders. Both are graduating high school this year. The time has flown.
It was nice talking with Clay and his parents and reliving some of those cherished childhood memories.
After our move to Holly Springs, there were more sports photos – from manager of the football team, to peewee football and basketball and Dizzy Dean baseball.
Most of the photos of his high school years are digital ones – some saved on my computer at The South Reporter office. Others I need to look for and keep.
Last Friday, Andy played in his last high school sporting event. MA finished second in the state in baseball.
It was bittersweet.
There were tears of sadness. But moments later, there were smiles and laughs of joy – once the success of the season and the athletic year as a whole was realized.
Athletics have been a huge part of my son’s upbringing – as they were mine.
Participating in sports teaches our children so much – giving them an education beyond the classroom, which should take priority in the learning process.
Andy was no superstar on the field or the court. But I truly believe he was the ultimate team player. He will not be signing an athletic scholarship. But the leadership and academic scholarship opportunities, thank goodness, have arrived in the mailbox.
Perhaps my best memory of his high school days came after the Patriots lost Friday to Centreville. With his coaches and teammates around him, he led the prayer.
“Thank you God for giving us this chance,” Andy said. “We know there is a reason for everything. We’re family – and thank you for putting us together.”
I was a very proud dad.
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