At the same time, my brother's baseball team was fighting to get into the NCAA Baseball Tournament.
And then, about six weeks ago, something strange happened, and they started winning. They kept winning, and they won themselves right into their conference tournament. Granted, they were the lowest seed, but that didn't stop them. They beat the highest seed and put themselves into great contention to win the tournament.
On the day I married Steven, the Tigers beat Texas for the second time that week, and put themselves into the final game. If they won, they'd advance to the NCAA tournament. If they lost, they were going home for the summer. That all or nothing scenario sets up so much to play for, and so many emotions.
The following day was the final game. It went to extra innings, and the Tigers were in the field. There were 2 outs and 2 strikes on the batter, when the kid from Texas A&M hit a home run and won the game for the other team. And, as happy as I was for myself and all the wonderful memories I had created that weekend, I felt so very sad for my brother. I texted him with the simple phrase, "heartbroken."
Today, while thinking of what to write, I came across a picture on the internet. It's a picture of my brother in the dugout after losing that game. Hanging above his head is the jersey that managed to survive the tornado in Joplin. I have never felt so sad for my brother in all his life. He's not emotional, and rarely shares how he is feeling. But, this photo says more than he ever could.
(Click here to read the story of the jersey)