We are, as we go through life, constantly experiencing opposites. Old/Young, Good/Bad, Sharp/Dull Happy/Sad. It touches not only our individual lives but also our shared lives, those with family and friends we hold so dear. We see the Sun rise and then we watch it settle into the horizon. Start/End. We share these opposites not only with our dear ones but also with our next-door neighbor and those who are in our communities down the road or across town. We share them because we care for one another and we are pleased with our intertwining lives and we support each other in all these opposites. Our schools are a point of sharing these opposites. Our children start/finish together. They share in the beginning, acceptance/reluctance, as they begin their education journey. Then, when that journey is done, we along with them share letting go/anticipation. The school becomes a center of opposites that we all share.
This summer in our community, the opposites again have given us a reason to share. One young infant was dealt an opposite. Illness claimed a part of this young child. His family anguished as he struggled to cling to life. He passed that crisis/success. He would now learn different than you or I. He would have to overcome obstacles that his siblings didn’t. He, with the encouragement of his family and his community began to grow and to overcome obstacles and fallacies thru sheer determination and willpower that enabled him to grow to achieve never thought of abilities. These abilities came to be noticed and the word soon spread about this young man. He began to experience the inspiration others felt and admiration of many, many people who saw in him the determination and willpower that is so necessary in a world of opposites. His family shared with him this admiration and inspiration. How could they not? This child who had been separated had now set a platform for the rest of his life. Anything the world can give is within his grasp. This is what life can bring. If the rivers seem muddy and the mountains seem high, look at him and know we can do as he did. Don’t let the opposites get you down. A shining example.
Then again this summer, life shared another opposite. Same community, same school, another good family. Young child came into the world. Family thrilled, another son. He began his journey with his family. One of three brothers. The house rang with excitement from these three boys as they grew and ran and jumped and competed and scuffled and wrestled and were little boys who grew and transformed their parent’s life. Before kids/after kids. The summer thrills and the winter chills. Opposites again. The shout of I did it, followed by I can do it too. Me too. As each child is different so is the appreciation that they are. One sunshine, one bold, one shy, one clinging, one independent. Opposites again. The human spirit separates us to be who we are and who we will be. Parents, really good parents love each child equal. But being equal there is an opposite in the guiding hand. One firm, one light, one nurturing, one soothing. Opposites again. Then this family would be dealt an extreme opposite. The youngest son is suddenly gone. In an instant. The desperate and anguished parents are heartbroken. If you have ever seen a Mother who has lost a child you know the pain and suffering she is bearing. If you have ever seen a Father cry as his son is taken away, you know the pain and suffering he is feeling.
Now through these two young men, same community, same school, we again share. They came from equally good families, virtually the same age. One family delighted, one family devastated. Opposites. One minute sharing the accomplishment of one, then the heartbreak of sudden loss for the other. Opposites. We share the empty, we share the full. Opposites. What makes life so full of opposites? We bond together to live with the opposites life brings us. Faith helps us deal with these opposites by always being there, regardless of the circumstance. Comfort with the thanks we give and the burden we bear. Opposites, yet a constant, always there - faith. One constant in a world of opposites.
And so on a warm evening, as teams prepare to take the field, a moment of silence then the release of balloons in memory of our lost child and the beginning of a season of hope and expectations. In the stands one young man whose summer built memories for a lifetime, another family there who celebrated with the crowd in honor of their young man as his jersey was carried onto the field by the team he was a part of. As the balloons floated away one young man was physically there, another young man was there spiritually. Opposites.
Editors note. Mr. Holley submitted this piece to the Tribune after reflecting on the stories of two young men in Cornersville.
Luke Terry’s inspiring story of excelling at baseball despite having one arm made national news and the tragic accident that claimed the life of 15-year-old Bryan Giles made an impact on Holley, as they did all of Marshall County. “Here we were up on top and then here we are down on the bottom,” said Holley.