Bittersweet. That would be the word to best describe yesterday afternoon. In the small west Texas town my sister and brother in law used to live, we attended a dedication of a t-ball field. Why? It was built in memory of my nephew. I had an idea what the event would be like, but I can honestly say, the reality of it was much more beautiful, much more humbling. They have named the field "Field of Dreams," which is on the scoreboard, and it says that it's in memory of my sweet nephew.
My sister asked me to take pictures, a request I happily agreed to. Looking through the lens of my camera, as well as ensuring my child did not get out of line, were both welcome distractions when my emotions began to rise. The love and respect that filled that place for my family was absolutely incredible. The way the community continues to rally around them, to cheer for them, is inspiring.
At the close of the dedication, my brother in law threw out the first pitch, and a friend's son was there to catch. Then, this young boy, who was born three days after my nephew, took aim at the ball as it was propped on a t-ball stand, swung, and ran the bases. In my mind's eye it was Camden headed to first with fierce determination, it was him taking second and heading to third with a grin spread across his face, and it was Camden crossing home plate triumphantly.
In these bittersweet moments, I often find myself reflecting on the beauty in life. Even in the heartbreak, there is beauty, there is sweetness, and tenderness. We have the opportunity to daily go through life with joy, with purpose, with the knowledge that we are here but only for a time. Yet, I see many of us fretting over things we do not control, worrying about moments that we cannot orchestrate, and failing to live out the faith we claim to hold onto. In these moments, I watch my sister and brother in law as they continue to walk this journey with grace and a faith that could move mountains. In these moments, I am humbled and driven to my knees for what God has done, and is continuing to do.
I miss my nephew, terribly, but as I looked out across the field yesterday and looked into the faces of friends who had shown up, all I could do was pray that my life has half the impact on this world as Camden's did.