Friday, March 10, 2017

The Note

Over my career, I have been blessed to work with countless awesome young ladies on the basketball court. Through FACEBOOK, I've been able to reconnect- I love hearing from these kids who often now have kids of their own! The following, from July 19, 2007, is about a memorable note I once received from a player.

I'm pretty excited. My complex is redoing my apartment, new carpet and paint job. I've been here for nine years so I guess I qualify as a exemplary tenant. That said, repainting and carpeting when you are still residing in the apartment requires some clearing of the walls and shuffling of furnishings to render the makeover as painless as possible. This afternoon was spent in my bedroom walk-in closet where I have numerous boxes of stuff. I decided to sort and eliminate things I would never have need of. The stuff consists of basketball tapes, college research papers, sermon and devotional outlines, yearbooks, wedding and graduation announcements, etc. The majority of the boxes, however, are crammed with letters, notes, and cards. I keep what people send me so I have a multitude of correspondences, I would estimate in the multiple thousands. Many of the letters come from the close to one hundred fifty young ladies who have played on my middle school and high school basketball teams. Some of the girls have been prolific writers, both numerically and in sheer volume of words. I am about one third through the boxes and it is a tedious process but I have two bags of trash to set out in the morning already. At the outset, I promised myself I would not get caught up in reading but I have cheated just a little bit. I'm glad I fudged. For someone reason, my eyes were captured by this note, written in girlish script:
Coach Hawley,
I just thought I'd write to say thanks! Thanks for giving me the chance to make myself better. Thank you for helping me with everything last year. I'm very sorry I let you down in the beginning last year. But you never gave up on me, I mean you didn't think I would come back but I had to! I've never been so close to so many people. I can't explain what the feeling of closeness is to me! I just wanted to say thank you!

Here's the neat thing: there was no signature and no date. There was no hint of time or place in the words so I have no idea who the young lady author was. She might have been a Georgia Christian Lady General. She possibly was a Friendship Christian Lady Commander. Maybe she was a Westbury Christian Lady Wildcat. Whoever she was/is, we left on good terms and she felt as if I had forgiven her for some long-forgotten misdeed. She was grateful even though I'm at a loss to know the circumstances of her gratitude. I wish my prayers were more like her note. I'm not good at being excited when I say thank you. My feeble efforts at gratitude are not nearly as enthusiastic as hers. She somehow felt I was responsible for the bond she felt with her teammates, another weakness as I sometimes keep others at arm's length. So, as I get ready to go to bed and speak to the Lord one last time, I have her words- and example- echoing through my mind. I wonder what I'll find tomorrow?

Applicable quote of the day:
"One of the pleasures of reading old letters is the knowledge that they need no answer."
Lord Byron

God bless,
Luke 18:1
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Sherry Ann said...

Dearest Coach, I can not pass this one entry without leaving a comment. Cos i have to say THANK YOU too!

You may not be aware, but by merely reading your past blog entries makes a difference in my life. This may sound cheesy but do you know that you have a gift of "bringing out the best in others"? You must think that by reading my 'journals' (in my blog site) I have put a lot of time and thought in my writings night by night. But the real reason is that, i am inspired by your writings. You definitely is bringing out the best in me. And I THANK YOU Coach!!!!! :)))

Anonymous said...


Jimena Pinto-Kroujiline said...

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Best Wishes,

Jimena Pinto-Kroujiline