Thursday, January 7, 2010

It's All Greek to Me!

Sometimes things happen in our lives that we don't feel worthy of. The Lord has showered us with many blessings recently. This is the story of just one of those blessings.

It was Christmas Eve in the little house on the corner.
There was last minute present wrapping. Christmas carols were playing. The kitchen smelled of pies and chocolate. The lights on the tree twinkled in the dark living room. The doorbell rang.

Please! No more goodies, I thought to myself. I should have asked for will power for my birthday in November.

One of the girls answered the door. In walked five young men and one young lady who I recognized as some of my husband's swimmers. I rose to my feet and invited them to come in and sit down.

"We don't want to interrupt your Christmas Eve," one of them said. "We just want to give something to Dee."

Richard, being the 14 year old that he is said, "Well, you're going to have to wait for him. He's in the bathroom."

Thanks, son!

"That's OK! We can wait." they replied.

I sent Richard upstairs to tell his father that he had company. Within a minute the master of the house was descending the stairs.

"We have something for you coach!" one of the young men announced and handed Dee a dark blue case with a silver handle...I mean a real silver handle!

He sat down on the sofa with me next to him and placed the case on his lap. Upon opening it he saw a beautiful silver sailing boat! We gasped together as he lifted the boat from its' velvet cradle. It was exquisitely detailed, shiny, and so heavy!

Dee was handed a letter. He unfolded the paper and began to read aloud,

"Dear Coach Dee,

From the team members at HAST we thank you, your wife, and your family for all of the sacrifices made to not only make us better swimmers but better people. The measure to which you have influenced us is invaluable and will inspire us throughout our lives. As a small token of our gratitude to you, we as a team, come together to..."

He became choked up and tears filled his eyes. He handed the letter to me and said, "you'll have to read this."

(backing up in time)
October or November of 2009~

Dee was on Facebook one evening and read a note from a coaching partner from his former job in Tacoma.Washington. Jay told Dee about an open water race coming in the summer that he had swam and actually won before. "You should train for it and come! It'll be great!" he had said. Dee had been mentioning on Facebook that he was training to get in better shape so Jay thought an 18.8 mile swim in open waters would be good for him! Well, the training might be good for him but in reality, there was no way he could participate. The event was held in Greece. Ah, there's the rub!


So, Dee went on his way still exercising and swimming and aiming for the team triathlon in St. George this spring.

Pshhh! 400 meters...really? A piece of cake! (really!)

Coach Dee mentioned the race to his swimmers at practice one day telling them he thought it would be a good challenge. Maybe he could find something like it a bit closer to home! Besides, he said he wouldn't dare go to Greece without me. Wise man!

(back to the present)
December 24, 2009

I handed the letter back to my husband knowing that I would choke up too."You need to read it," I gently told him. And so he began again.

"...we as a team, come together to get you to Greece in September of 2010. This is the least that we as a team can do to give you and your wife an experience that we know you will love. Through our team efforts we will raise the funds between now and August to pay for airfare for the both of you to enjoy this experience together. We know that you will represent all of us at HAST well.

The boat contained herein is crafted after sailing and fishing vessels of old that traversed the shores of Greece, trolling her waters; seamen guided by their captain. Let this boat represent how you continue to serve as our captain and also inspire you to swim and represent us in Greece. Thank you for serving as our coach, mentor, and friend.

The HAST Team Captains, Team members, & Alumni

Dee was really crying now! His hands were shaking and all that either of us could say was "Thank you!"

One of the guys spoke up and said, "we want you to know that as of tonight we have enough money to pay for one ticket already."


So...the master is swimming his guts off, quite literally! He is the amazing shrinking man! The thought of him swimming for oh, about 8-10 hours straight has me concerned for him but I know he will be in shape when the time comes. He is determined!

As for me? I am in training too! The holiday goodies are all gone at last and I am exercising to be ready to look amazing as part of Dee's support team!

Please let me find that will power again!

(H.A.S.T. stands for Hilltop Aquatic Swim Team the local United States Swimming affiliated club. The team pronounces it as in haste!)


Anonymous said...

This is absolutely the BEST Christmas story I have heard this year! How exciting for you BOTH! I'm glad that we could do our part and get Dee preparing early so he could have a head start on his training regimen. His race here in St. George will literally be a drop in the bucket. How wonderful for Dee to get to work with such thoughtful and giving kids and how wonderful for the kids to have Dee as their coach. A "Win Win" situation for sure. Happiness all around.

Abbie said...

Wow, that is an amazing story! Dee truly deserves it (as do you!!!). He's done the most incredible things for the team and I'm so glad they did this for him. Love you!!

URFAVE5 said...

That is the most touching story I think I've ever heard. This story had me crying too. That is so kind! Dee and you really do deserve this most amazing trip. I wish Dee (and you) lots of luck and support. That will be so neat!

We Love You,

p.s. When is the St. George race? I would really like to see if Brian and I couldn't make it there to support you all!

Lori said...

Oh my goodness!!! How wonderful. I tried reading it out loud to Doug and became overwhelmed with emotion. What a great honor and so special to be cherished by a team of young men and young women like that. Congratulations to all of you . . . Greece ~ amazing!

Kendall said...

This is the best! Good luck training, Loose's! Thank you for all the time you have given to me and to my family as well. We love you guys so much! You've blessed our lives in so many ways, please let me know if we can help out in any way. Love you!!!

Gena said...

I cried when I read the first lines of his letter and I'm crying again. I was worried I'd get water stains on this important letter! I can't think of ANY teacher or coach who is a good, kind, inspirational, loving and caring as Coach Dee. He's a wonderful man who has influenced MANY lives for the good and, on a side note, you deserve to go too!!!!

Niki {A*Lovely*Lifestyle} said...

so so sweet!