It's the Little Things

Spring Training 2013: It’s the Little Things…

I have been a San Francisco Giants fan for as long as I can remember. By the time I was 2-years old, I could recite the starting line-up, including positions, batting order, and jersey number, of the 1989 Giants. I had a life-sized cardboard cutout of Will Clark in the room I shared with my brother, and I still sleep with my Giants blanket. My parents share a birthday, which lead me, at age 4, to believe that I would marry Will Clark since we, too, share a birthday. The fact that we were both left-handed and played first base further solidified my belief.

However, living in the Bay Area, I have not seen the Giants play at AT&T Park for seven years, since I was diagnosed with Trigeminal Neuralgia. I went to one day-game with my sister and her family only to spend the first half of the game with my head in my lap and the second half watching the game on the TV in the Dugout Store. I promised myself that my first paycheck would go to a luxury box to finally see my Giants play behind the protection of the glass.

A few weeks ago though, my parents gave me the best birthday present I’ve ever received. I went to sunny Scottsdale, Arizona for Spring Training. I walked into the stadium and I don’t think a smile left my face for one second over the next two days. We sat down on our seats on the first baseline and as soon as Matt Cain threw the first pitch the Buster Posey tears were uncontrollably flowing from my eyes. I was watching my Giants play in person, and the tears were not from the pain or the wind; they were tears of pure and utter joy.

With the severity of my Trigeminal Neuralgia, I never thought I would see the Giants play, be 20 feet from Hunter Pence playing right field, or get autographs from players after the game for my nieces and nephews (whom we’ve already turned into die-hard Giants fans). Did the pain magically disappear from those two days? Of course not! But for me, those two days were complete ecstasy.

I have made sacrifices and accepted the limits my illness has given me, but for those two days one of the limits I hated the most disappeared. That weekend in Arizona allowed me to push the boundaries and hurdle over the limits that my illness has surrounded me with. Yes, I saw them play a Spring Training game and by the 7th inning I didn’t know any of the names of the players, but that didn’t take the smile off my face.

While illness brings boundaries and sets limits on your life, it also makes you appreciate the little things that much more. To most people there, it was a bachelor party or preparation for their regular season games but, to me, it was a dream come true. It was something I had accepted as impossible coming true right in front of me. It did take seven years to break down one of the hundreds of barriers my illness has surrounded me with, but in the moment I broke through that barrier and saw a glimmer of light, something that isn’t common in the battle against my TN.

My illness has brought so much pain and suffering to my life mentally, emotionally, and physically; however, it has given me perspective and helped me appreciate and understand life so much more. While I am limited in most aspects of my life, my parents helped me find a way to experience something I never thought I would be able to. When so much of your life is consumed by pain and suffering, it’s the little things you have an indescribable appreciation for. So while I suffer, I also see the smallest things as miracles and those little things bring tears to my eyes and provide me with a happiness I will never forget. Never forget the beauty and power of the little things, enough of those little things will make up for those big things you may miss.

Awwwwwwww that is such a sweet story! I am so glad you were pain-free for that. Yes, it IS the little things.