One minute I was laughing having a great time with my best friend, and the next the two of us were staring at each other; fear in our eyes, tears running down our checks. Emily and were best friends (We still are! ). Our friendship was incredible (don’t get me wrong though, we still fought and shared bad memories). Right after Emily turned seven our parents started us on the same year-round swim club. The club swam out of Sterling Heights High School on some nights and Warren Mott High School on others. Since practice was so far away from our homes, we would eat dinner before practice.
However, every night on the way home from practice we would have a snack. There were many places to stop on our drive back to Grosse Pointe, although we tried to bring our own with us Emily and I were particularly enthusiastic on this night. It was fairly humid out and the moist air was refreshing since the harsh winter had just come to a close. The inky night stung our eye. Driving west on Schoenherr Rd. , toward home, we stopped at one of the various Little Caesars on our route toward home. The greasy smell of the pizza was too hard to resist any longer.
Quickly, we each picked a slice out of the warm box and inhaled the mouthwatering pizza. The next thing I knew, Emily’s mom was easing to a stop at the corner of Twelve Mile and Schoenherr. We were laughing so hard our stomachs hurt, when out of nowhere an abrupt force snapped my neck backwards. Simultaneously, Emily’s pizza left her hands and flew through the air smashing into the front windshield. Panicking, I stared toward Emily and she did the same back. Tears ran down her checks and fear filled our bodies (Emily recently told me the only reason she was so upset was because she lost her slice of pizza! . No one was hurt that day, yet the memories of that day continue to haunt me. Vignette #2 I can’t remember exactly how old I was, but I was younger than four years old because I remember going to Ireland when I was four. It seems like a dream, now, but when I think about it I get that feeling in my gut that tells me it isn’t. Our family is huge. My grandmother has a total of six brothers and sisters; three boys and two girls. Almost all of them are married and have children of their own, but everyone’s has stayed pretty close together.
The majority of the family lives in or around Grosse Pointe so we see everyone quite a bit. I think I was about three when a bunch of the family gathered in my Aunt Mairin’s house (we now call Mairin Mo, but why were we there? ). Will everyone in Auntie Mo’s small house, it became earsplitting. People were everywhere! I found my mom and for one of the first times, I was able to sit at the grown-up table next to her. I hopped up onto the stool that I sat on every time I came to Auntie Mo’s house. As I squared in on my mom’s eyes, the room was silent.
But after what seemed like slow motion stopped, the house was loud again. “Mommy, Mommy, Mommy! ” is all I could remember saying. My mother then whipped her head in my direction and she asked me what was wrong. “Y-e-s, that spells yes! ” I blurted. “That’s right,” my mom said as she put her back to me once again to talk the person on the other side of her. “And n-o spells no! ” I said grinning from ear to ear. “Good job! ” my mom said and faced the other direction, again. I spent the rest of the night chanting y-e-s spells yes and n-o spells no. I couldn’t stop smiling, and laughing.
I felt good and in that moment I realized what it was that filled my heart… I was proud. Vignette #3 One minute I was sprinting toward third base trying to steal it, and the next I was limping off the field, tears in my eyes, pain in my left ankle. It was the same day as the last day of school for eighth grade. My softball team, the U14 Golden Angles Gold, was going to playing the U14 Golden Angles Blue team. I knew all of the girls on that team. Two of girls were my age, but played on the older team because of their birthdays, played on our team when the girls on their team played for their high schools.
Their team was far better, and had more people. I was playing one my best games; as first basemen I made many plays and most of the balls I hit went into the outfield. I was on second base so when the catcher dropped the ball I started to run to third, but my coach told me to stop. It was too late and I thought I could make it (I listened to my coach). With the third basemen in my way I stuck my leg and slide. It was a terrible slide; my foot got caught under me and as I hit the ground a series of pops and tars came from my left ankle.
Somehow I got up and wobbled over to the bench (I don’t remember any of this, I think I blacked out). As, I was doing that my coach told me that it was his fault and not to worry, and as I limped over home plate, the catcher (who I didn’t really know so well) stopped me and asked if I was okay. I went to the hospital that night and they said it was a sprain, but when it was a week later and I still couldn’t walk on it, my mom took me to the foot specialist. I tore ligaments and was in a walking cast for two to three weeks (it was a great way to start off my summer… NOT! ).