Friday, November 13, 2009

Radford Virgina, THE BOBCATS

RADFORD VIRGINIA, Population: 16, 125 +

It's football season! All across our great nation, from the little kids suiting up, shoulder pads on they are running with wild abandon and having a ball;, to college games and the NFL, the fans scream, the tailgaters revel in the day, while some of us take to our couches. We sit quietly while some holler and yell just knowing that our voices are heard through the wires...
And this morning, the chill is in the air, here and I am sitting with my morning coffee, in my t-shirt that says, "BOBCATS"; knowing that tonight the kids will take the field, and for them it is important; the stands will be filled with friends and family, and brrr it will be cold outside. But I will wear my t-shirt, showing my loyalty from a distance, I wonder if they will know that the Godmother in Florida is rooting for them? I know they will care... I am even going to wear it out to dinner tonight (with a long sleeve shirt underneath of course)
I am reflecting on my visit that I had this year with family in Dublin Virginia. It was the visit that I photographed my Mother's hand (soon to be famous, I am sure) for the cover of Healing Heartaches. While there I was blessed to be able to spend time with my cousin Angie, my Aunt Linda and also got to see my Godsons' play football!  They both played their hearts out that week for their Godmother! I love them toooo much you know! They are my heart, I must admit, in case you couldn't tell my previous blogs! I was also delighted to meet their friends, visit Kamryn's new school and oh my what a school it was! We did not have schools like that, you should see the bright modern colors and jazzy windows, they are truly something.

Radford Virginia, also happens to be where I was born...  my Mother crossed over(in a car) the New River bridge, driven my my uncle Frank with my Granny in the passenger seat or so I am told... a young Mother in the backseat ready to give birth. I just can't remember the intimate details of that day oh so long ago. But I do know this... Radford High School still sits at the end of that bridge, up on the hill! Radford also is home to Radford University and it has a great social work school and Radford is not far from Virginia Tech, home of the Hokies! Here in Florida we have many a Hokie fan as well, their logos often seen on cars and t-shirts. Now aren't you glad to know all of that about your author of Healing Heartaches!!!

Now, back to the Bobcats... People come to see them, those kids clad in uniform, the black and gold colors representing the "Bobcats". They stand for the playing of The National Anthem with pride; if you notice, that is MY GODSON D'VANTE WITH HIS HAND ACROSS HIS HEART, and my initials on his cheek in that photo, (gotta love him) on that night I was able to watch; to walk the sidelines and photograph the action! Screaming with wild abandon myself, saying those ever important uplifting things like, "That's my Godson", or "Yea baby... that's what I'm talkin about baby", or even, "Let's go Bobcats, FOCUS"!!! My Godson later told me that all of the players wanted to know who that woman was on the sidelines taking pictures! They liked the idea that his Godmother was there, rooting for them and they really liked the idea that maybe their picture would be among the 200 + shots that were taken that night. Some of these kids will make foolish decisions, some will make mistakes... usually over girls, that's how most happen it seems.  Some will have smart mouths, try to figure a better system than working hard to make good grades; they will have to fall hard before realizing they are on solid ground and with help, patience and good mentoring they will learn to fly, learn to walk with honor and grace. WE all pray and hope that for them anyway! We will love them through the pains of growing up, but not always like their choices... but today we will boister their spirits and wish them well... they are Bobcats and they are on the prowl for a win!

Bobcats... they start with the littlest bobcats. During my visit I was able to see my Godson Kamryn who is 8 years old, #15 on the field, and his team play. They begin with a prayer as a group, and then they warm-up. I was tired before they began! Ah, but then the game started and I have to tell you those little cats are fierce in their own right! Proudly I ran from one end of the field to the other, once even begging a coach to let me be where they were, but to no avail! And then it happened... Kamryn scored a touchdown! Be still my heart! I screamed until hoarse that day, filled with pride of his passion, determination and focus. He will grow into a Bobcat of varsity quality I am just sure. His real passion is basketball though, he tells us he plans to be the "next Michael Jordon" and I believe he just might be!

And now for the Godson referred to as "The Beast" #51.  Funny, brothers with numbers 51 and 15! I love that, it has power, and it has meaning... kindred spirits to be sure.
D'Vante is powerful, he is focused and I would not want to be hit on a field by him, no way no how, no day! Sometimes he doesn't know his power, he doesn't yet understand the power of his words, but he is learning, growing, I have great hopes and prayers for him daily. On the field, he is a force to be reckoned with. 
And  again I became the Godmother on a mission, this time being granted entry to the field as long as my toes did not touch the field, YAY! I took so many pictures that night and walked so many miles that I could have or should have lost weight, but no such luck! They were awesome indeed. But indeed, folks from all over the country come together to root for their teams, their kids, their friends, united for awhile and lost in the moment. And it is good. And in Radford Virgina, they came; friends, family, neighbors, school mates, the little bobcats, junior varsity, varsity all together in unison rooting for the ones playing on the field right at that moment. It is wonderful that they come, warm weather, rain, cold weather... they come, they care.

I even got to meet D'Vante's best friends on that trip, #62, Matt, #82, Deshone, #74 Justan... I also was able to meet the kids' parents that visit. I felt so blessed and so happy to know that my family and their families were close, that the circle had been extended to include such good people. Somehow I felt that these were  connections that I had been missing out on, not knowing these people but only hearing about them from far away. Now they are an added part of my extended family, they are a part of my families family. Does that make sense?
While at the game, I met the quarterback of the varsity Bobcats, #3, Dentae Carter! What a wonderful young man who is filled with grace and potential! He has a gentle but powerful spirit, I liked him right away, something about his eyes touched my heart. He wanted me to attend the varsity team, but I was flying home to Florida and told him I would try to do it next time... He shared with me his college hopes and football dreams for scholarships. He hopes to attend a college, but I can't remember which of the many he named, but he made sure to tell me that he doesn't want to go "too far" from home. He is a young man filled with passion and promise, I expect great things from him, and a ticket to a NFL game someday watching him to be sure!!!
Whew, this is a long blog today, hope you are not tiring from it, but it is an important one I believe!
(insert your own laughter please)

Now for the real message:
The spirit of the Bobcat

The Bobcat represents patience... imagine that, patience among young kids! Warriors of all ages, little and big, on a football field, kids just beginning to discover the wonderment of life, living and all that is and will be. The Bobcat although a rather solitary creature, (no wonder kids hole up in their rooms with music blaring!), is also quite a playful and powerful character, serving as a great reminder for all of us not to take things or ourselves too seriously at times.
This totem and this Radford Virginia team reminds us to be fully aware, to be present right here, right now; to be present, to be mindful knowing that in order to get what we want we must be willing to plan. To get what we really want we must adapt our thinking, expand our knowledge, and above all else we must be respectful of all people and all things. To live the best life possible on the field and in our lives we must believe in the power of self, the power of love, the power of kindness and faith.
With that said:
GO BOBCATS; Play your hearts out, Do your best...
When the game is over, shake hands with your opponents, hug your brothers on the field. Look to the stands and show your thanks to those who love and support you always! Raise your helmets, beat your chest, give a "thumbs up"...  just take the time to show them some love, win/loss/tie.
Remember, YOU are the Bobcats! The spirit of the Bobcat asks that you dig deep, Look deep within yourself, discover all that you want and need to become the best you; living with honor and dignity and truth. I expect great things from all of you and from all of us each and every day that we are blessed to live in this great country of ours.

GIVE UP.  GOOD LUCK IN YOUR GAME TONIGHT; I EXPECT GREAT THINGS FROM ALL OF YOU IN THE GAME OF LIFE, after all.... The Godmother is wearing the Bobcat shirt here in Florida!

Blessings to all who read this today, happy Happy Friday the 13Th 2009!  Go Bobcats!!!

Walk In Beauty

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