Going to the arena ** in the locker room music plays ** go to bathroom ** plastic name on lockers ** take off street clothes ** put on uniform ** go to training room ** spray cold adherent ** tape ankles ** antiseptic smell ** lace up shoes ** stretching exercise ** go to bathroom ** clean towels stacked ** watch movies of opponent ** chalkboard pre game instruction tension in the air ** butterflies ** biting nails ** chewing gum ** drying hands on towel benches ** bouncing ball ** passing ** run onto gym floor ** two line lay ups ** leather touches hands ** ball through hoop ** sweat ** music plays ** touch on glass ** the crowd ** getting loose ** buzzer sounds ** introductions ** cheers ** shake hands ** referee tosses ball ** hit high post ** score half court trap ** bad pass ** defense ** back door timing ** fast break ** miss lay up ** coach ** time out ** hand spray ** scoreboard ** cold towel ** clear out ** score ** helping out ** good shooter ** stupid mistake ** time ** clock ** half time ** scoreboard ** go to bathroom ** second half plan ** oranges ** rest ** criticism ** determination jump ball ** miss shot ** cold ** open man ** put ball on floor ** block out ** high pass ** dunk ** two points ** foul ** one point ** two long jumpers ** deny ball ** fast break ** playing well ** yeah team ** tip in ** swearing ** technical ** three points ** touching the ball ** falling down ** hustle ** pat on the back ** drive for basket ** pick right ** time remaining ** scoreboard ** taking the pressure shot ** rhythm of game ** cheerleaders ** defense ** foul ** rest ** feeling good ** fast break the crowd ** spirit ** scoreboard ** win ** satisfaction ** teamwork ** champions ** celebration ** congratulations ** smiles ** friends done too soon ** whirlpool bath ** hot shower ** vitamin pill ** go to bathroom ** put street clothes on ** dirty towels everywhere ** gulp sport drink ** leave locker room.
I've learned – that you can do something in an instant that will give you a heartache for life.
I've learned – that it's taking me a long time to become the person I want to be.
I've learned – that you should always leave loved ones with loving words. It may be the last time you see them.
I've learned – that you can keep going long after you can't.
I've learned – that we are responsible for what we do, no matter how we feel.
I've learned – that credentials on the wall do not make you a decent human being.
I've learned – that either you control your attitude or it controls you. I've learned that regardless of how hot and steamy a relationship is at first, the passion fades and there had better be something else to take its place.
I've learned – that heroes are the people who do what has to be done when it needs to be done, regardless of the consequences.
I've learned – that money is a lousy way of keeping score.
I've learned – that my best friend and I can do anything or nothing and have the best time.
I've learned – that sometimes the people you expect to kick you when you're down will be the ones to help you get back up.
I've learned – that sometimes when I'm angry I have the right to be angry, but that doesn't give me the right to be cruel.
I've learned – that true friendship continues to grow, even over the longest distance. Same goes for true love.
I've learned – that just because someone doesn't love you the way you want them to doesn't mean they don't love you with all they have.
I've learned – that maturity has more to do with what types of experiences you've had and what you've learned from them and less to do with how many birthdays you've celebrated.
I've learned – that your family won't always be there for you. It may seem funny, but people you aren't related to can take care of you and love you and teach you to trust people again. Families aren't biological.
I've learned – that no matter how good a friend is, they're going to hurt you every once in a while and you must forgive them for that.
I've learned – that it isn't always enough to be forgiven by others. Sometimes you have to learn to forgive yourself.
I've learned – that no matter how bad your heart is broken the world doesn't stop for your grief.
I've learned – that our background and circumstances may have influenced who we are, but we are responsible for who we become.
I've learned – that just because two people argue, it doesn't mean they don't love each other. And just because they don't argue, it doesn't mean they do.
I've learned – that we don't have to change friends if we understand that friends change.
I've learned – that you shouldn't be so eager to find out a secret. It could change your life forever.
I've learned – that two people can look at the exact same thing and see something totally different.
I've learned – that your life can be changed in a matter of hours by people who don't even know you.
I've learned – that even when you think you have no more to give, when a friend cries out to you, you will find the strength to help.
I've learned – that the people you care about most in life are taken from you too soon.
We often learn the most from our children. Some time ago, a friend of mine punished his 3-year-old daughter for wasting a roll of gold wrapping paper. Money was tight, and he became infuriated when the child tried to decorate a box to put under the tree. Nevertheless, the little girl brought the gift to her father the next morning and said, "This is for you, Daddy." He was embarrassed by his earlier overreaction, but his anger flared again when he found that the box was empty. He yelled at her, "Don't you know that when you give someone a present, there's supposed to be something inside of it?"
The little girl looked up at him with tears in her eyes and said, "Oh, Daddy it's not empty. I blew kisses into the box. All for you, Daddy." The father was crushed. He put his arms around his little girl, and he begged her forgiveness. My friend told me that he kept that gold box by his bed for years. Whenever he was discouraged, he would take out an imaginary kiss and remember the love of the child who had put it there.
In a very real sense, each of us as parents has been given a gold container filled with unconditional love and kisses from our children.
There is no more precious possession anyone could hold.
During the waning years of the depression in a small Idaho community, I used to stop by Mr. Miller's roadside stand for farm fresh produce as the season made it available. Food and money were still extremely scarce and bartering was used extensively.
One day Mr. Miller was bagging some early potatoes for me. I noticed a small boy, delicate of bone and feature, ragged but clean, hungrily appraising a basket of freshly picked green peas.
I paid for my potatoes but was also drawn to the display of fresh green peas. I am a pushover for creamed peas and new potatoes. Pondering the peas, I couldn't help overhearing the conversation between Mr. Miller and the ragged boy next to me.
"Hello Barry, how are you today?"
"H'lo, Mr. Miller. Fine, thank ya. Jus' admirin' them peas ... sure look good." "They are good, Barry. How's your Ma?"
"Fine. Gittin' stronger alla' time."
"Good. Anything I can help you with?"
"No, Sir. Jus' admirin' them peas."
"Would you like to take some home?"
"No, Sir. Got nuthin' to pay for 'em with."
"Well, what have you to trade me for some of those peas?"
"All I got's my prize marble here."
"Is that right? Let me see it."
"Here 'tis. She's a dandy."
"I can see that. Hmmmmm, only thing is this one is blue and I sort of go for red. Do you have a red one like this at home?"
"Not zackley ... but almost."
"Tell you what. Take this sack of peas home with you and next trip this way let me look at that red marble."
"Sure will. Thanks Mr. Miller."
Mrs. Miller, who had been standing nearby, came over to help me. With a smile she said, "There are two other boys like him in our community, all three are in very poor circumstances. Jim just loves to bargain with them for peas, apples, tomatoes, or whatever. When they come back with their red marbles, and they always do, he decides he doesn't like red after all and he sends them home with a bag of produce for a green marble or an orange one, perhaps."
I left the stand smiling to myself, impressed with this man. A short time later I moved to Colorado but I never forgot the story of this man, the boys, and their bartering.
Several years went by, each more rapid that the previous one. Just recently I had occasion to visit some old friends in that Idaho community and while I was there learned that Mr. Miller had died. They were having his viewing that evening and knowing my friends wanted to go, I agreed to accompany them.
Upon arrival at the mortuary we fell into line to meet the relatives of the deceased and to offer whatever words of comfort we could. Ahead of us in line were three young men. One was in an army uniform and the other two wore nice haircuts, dark suits and white shirts ... all very professional looking.
They approached Mrs. Miller, standing composed and smiling by her husband's casket. Each of the young men hugged her, kissed her on the cheek, spoke briefly with her and moved on to the casket. Her misty light blue eyes followed them as, one by one, each young man stopped briefly and placed his own warm hand over the cold pale hand in the casket. Each left the mortuary awkwardly, wiping his eyes.
Our turn came to meet Mrs. Miller. I told her who I was and mentioned the story she had told me about the marbles. With her eyes glistening, she took my hand and led me to the casket.
"Those three young men who just left were the boys I told you about. They just told me how they appreciated the things Jim "traded" them. Now, at last, when Jim could not change his mind about color or size.... they came to pay their debt."
"We've never had a great deal of the wealth of this world," she confided, "but right now, Jim would consider himself the richest man in Idaho."
With loving gentleness she lifted the lifeless fingers of her deceased husband. Resting underneath were three exquisitely shined red marbles.
Moral:We will not be remembered by our words, but by our kind deeds.
Life is not measured by the breaths we take but by the moments that take our breath.
Today ... I wish you a day of ordinary miracles
.......... A fresh pot of coffee you didn't make yourself .......... An unexpected phone call from an old friend .......... Green stoplights on your way to work .......... The fastest line at the grocery store .......... A good sing-along song on the radio .......... Your keys right where you left them
They say it takes a minute to find a special person,
An hour to appreciate them,
A day to love them,
But an entire life to forget them.
Send this to the people you'll never forget.
If you don't send it to anyone, it means you are in too much of a hurry, and that you've probably forgotten your friends.