It's early Sunday morning as I get a chance to type this, trying to decompress from a myriad of emotions. This will be done in a stream of conscious matter, just allowing me to get out everything I continue to process.
--Prince George County, where I pastored for nine years, is devastated to learn of the death of a Royals senior who died en route to her graduation at the football field. I cannot imagine the heartbreak her family is enduring right now, and how in the world I could ever serve a family in that deep, deep level of sorrow.
--A 44-year old woman in Hanover that many of my friends knew is senselessly murdered. My heart breaks for her family, and my friends.
--My brother lost his mother-in-law today, as she suffered a massive stroke Friday and never regained consciousness. My heart breaks for my sister-in-law, as I know how it feels to lose your Mama, for my niece and grand-niece. My brother preaches on in the morning, and I agree with his decision. I preached 12 hours after my Mom passed. Had to. Totally therapeutic.
--I'm just sorry we cannot come and support our North Carolina family. Margaret's funeral will be on Rachel's graduation day. There's nothing that can be done about it. It is all in God's timing and He understands, and we trust in His handiwork. We will miss them, but we know how proud they are of Rachel, that is for sure.
--I was honored to officiate a beautiful wedding late this afternoon in Innsbrook as Lee Coe and Rebecca Windle became husband and wife. The weather held out well, the ring bearer and two flower girls, ALL of whom were TWO, played their parts perfectly! I tripped up a couple of times (yes, ministers get nervous, too!), and their sand ceremony was the best I've seen. What a work of art, and great representation of two becoming one. I asked the Lord to hold off the rain until after 7pm. As I left around 7:15, the rain began.
--Off I went to Deep Run as Clover Hill and Douglas Freeman was in a rain delay. I arrived for what would be the final five innings of a ten-inning game that, actually, had already been decided. Clover Hill would score a run in the sixth, Freeman would answer, then we stayed tied until the tenth when Clover Hill scratched one across, then ended things to win 2-1 and clinch a 5A State Tournament berth.
--Only it wouldn't happen. Douglas Freeman filed a protest mid-game about their opponents using a pitcher one inning too long per VHSL rules. I get home, do some dishes, reload Twitter and it has exploded with questions about the protest. I work and work to confirm it independently. I talk w/a local TV station. Finally, we went with a confirmation just after midnight.
--I have a great interview with two elated Clover Hill players, including the one who scored the winning run. The video now stays on my phone. I am so, so disappointed for the Cavaliers, who have to be devastated that in, maybe an hour's time, they went from jubilation to the news that their season was over. Reporting that news is a part of my craft I do not enjoy.
--I also don't like goodbyes. So as news came that both Hanover and Glen Allen softball lost their Region Semifinal games in Tidewater today, I thought of great seniors whose careers are now over. Specifically, I think of Eryn King, Hanover second baseman, who never failed to yell, "HI ROB!" when she would see me approach the diamond on game day as she practiced or warmed up. Hanover softball won't be the same without her. Our loss is VCU's gain.
--Oh, and today was the 30th anniversary of my high school graduation. Standing in Monroe Park across from what was then "The Mosque" in 1985, I can remember a moment standing there, asking myself where would I be, what would I be doing in 10 years, 20 years, 30 years....
--The answer to the "30 years" question is now laid out before you. Some days pack so much in, it may take a day or two to simply process it. And I'd better do it quickly.
Because Tuesday's coming. And I gotta be on my "A" game when my baby walks across the stage at Siegel and gets that diploma.