By Carla Liberty
Life. A process. Ever-changing. Like a baseball game, it throws us curve balls and change-ups, sliders, and yes, sometimes heat. Like the 95 mph fastball kind of heat. When we’re at bat, we have to make split decisions as to whether to swing (tackle our problems head-on) or whether to take the pitch (give the moment more thought and hope we’re on the right course). When the pitcher releases that ball, we have to be quick on our feet and adapt to what is thrown our way. (Life’s many challenges). Should I swing at that fastball? Is it in my strike (comfort) zone? Or is it outside the batter’s box (out of my control)?
The Divineys’ baseball game has gone into extra innings. In fact, they’ve been in extra innings since that horrible November night nearly two years ago. They faced a huge curveball when Ryan was attacked. Life as they knew it became life, we’re plugging through it. Faced with umpteen change-ups hurled by a steady stream of starters and relievers, they wait with anticipation for the day of Ryan’s game-winning home run (complete/total healing of body/mind). But until that day, they see the innings change (seasons), giving way to a new set of pitches (issues/challenges/and yes…progress).
We know that since the attack, Ken Diviney has stayed home with his son to provide 24/7 care. He is constantly at home plate anticipating what pitch will be thrown next. Will it be a Stephen Strasburg-style fastball that flies across the plate (smooth sailing, status quo) or will it be another curveball (infections/complications) or slider (setback)?
If there is anything good that has come from this nightmare, it is Ryan’s team – Team Diviney. The infielders (doctors/family/friends/community) and the outfielders (out of town support, media, etc.) are all on board to help this family win the game. We’ll be here when you need relief pitchers, we’ll be here when there are rain delays, and yes, we’ll be here when Ryan hits that game-winning home run.
Until such time, we must take note of the unsurpassed level of commitment the Team Manager (Ken Diviney) has to keeping his son physically healthy for that day when his mind is in sync with his body. Ken has said before that choices are easy to make when there is no choice. He is doing right by his son, providing him with a level of care most people cannot begin to fathom. He is in it to win it. And he will stand by his son because he, like Ryan, his lovely wife Sue, and precious daughter Kari – is made of “the right stuff.”
Ironically, as I was writing this piece, I heard the song “Love Without End, Amen” by Randy Travis. The words strike a chord and I liken the chorus to Ken’s undying devotion to his only son:
“Let me tell you a secret about a father’s love.
A secret that my daddy said was just between us.
You see Daddy’s don’t just love their children every now and then.
It’s a love without end, Amen.”