It's been a whirlwind week in Hawaii, the usual pleasant trade winds replaced by stormy gusts that approached 70 mph. At Spike and Serve we had our normal mix of volleyball practices, leagues and tournaments. 2014 has raced by in a blur of energy, activity and growth, but even the most powerful of hurricanes has its peaceful center, and Saturday was that "eye of the storm" for my wife Sherry and I.
HUGS is a Hawaii based nonprofit that works with children who are terminally ill. Once a month the volunteers at HUGS organize a "family dinner" and we were asked to help at this month's "crafting" program. Stations for tie-dyed t-shirts, beaded bracelets, and name tags were an absolute hit! It was so rewarding to spend time with this special group of children and their families, who display so much courage in fighting their daily battles. What these families are faced with, and how they keep their positive attitudes in the midst of their own personal storms was inspirational to me and brought a rare moment of clarity.
A boy named Daniel, fresh off his latest round of chemo, joyfully lost himself in his colorful creation as his father held, helped, wheeled and supported him all night long. I was amazed at the display of strength and dignity from both father and son. It truly was a lesson in perspective and offered a valuable life lesson to pass on to the children in our volleyball program.
Sunday was tournament day for one of Spike and Serve's U13 teams, bringing the typical mix of fear, anxiety and nervousness from "playing a game," on a very public stage. I began the day with a talk about Daniel and a look at life from his perspective. We each have our own perspective, which is simply "a" perspective, and often not the best one. The gift from Daniel requires us to look at life from his perspective. When we empathize and see the courage Daniel and his family display we know that we should fear less than we fear. We can bear much more than we think. We are not always in control of our lives, but we are always in control of our attitude and our actions.
That Spike and Serve U13 team won their first tournament on Sunday. They played fearlessly. They battled with so much heart. They displayed a new perspective, inspired by a boy named Daniel.