The week leading to my third start was rainy and filled with more evening responsibilities that interrupted my throwing program, but, like in previous weeks, I was able to have a very special catch with a very special person.
My third start of the season was scheduled for Sunday, May 5. We were going to be back to Wright’s Field in Bloomfield to play a different team from the area. It seems that a few towns, Bloomfield being one of them, have more than one team in the league. I was looking forward to this opportunity to see if I could build off my modest success the week before.
This would also be my first chance to pitch in back-to-back weeks – a true test of whether or not my arm, and body was up to this challenge.
It wasn’t to be.
Rain, dreadful rain, washed away our chances to play.
My first novel, Scattering The Ashes, will be published on October 22, 2019 by Artemesia Publishing and is now available for Pre-Order here.
This novel tells the fictional story of Sam Holmes as he struggles though the aftermath of losing his father and having the responsibility and obligation of fulfilling his late father’s final request.
Readers will become attached to Sam Holmes as he seeks to find himself in this trying period of his life. Initial reviews of the novel have been very positive.
Baseball is one (of many) themes that forms the framework of the story. Throughout this year, leading up to the book’s release, I will share excerpts from the novel here on these pages and on my Yankees site: www.startspreadingthenews.blog.
The following is an except from Chapter 5. In this scene, early in the novel before his father passes, Sam Homes awakes in pain the morning after his longest training run as he is preparing for his first marathon – the New York City Marathon. He is feeling doubtful about his abilities as a runner. Soon the prospect of a fictional encounter with two former baseball stars changes his outlook on the day…
(From Scattering The Ashes (2019, by Dr. Paul Semendinger, with permission from Artemesia Publishing)
The next morning, after I swung my legs out of bed, I realized I could barely stand. The plantar fasciitis in my foot screamed with pain every time I put even a tiny bit of weight on it. I had never felt such pain. Have you ever stuck hot needles into the bottom of your foot? I haven’t either, but it sure felt like I had. In addition to this foot agony, everything else, especially the fronts of my thighs, seemed to ache. I wondered if I had pushed my body further than it was able to handle. Was twelve miles my limit? Maybe I wasn’t built for a marathon. Dr. Alfonzo, my chiropractor (who is also a miracle healer), advised me to always stretch before a hard run and also to always ice this injury after the effort. Why didn’t I listen to his advice yesterday?
(The other day, I went back into the archives of passages that I wrote to the teachers at my school. I found this piece from 2009. This brought back a lot of memories, and also, with them, the reminder to savor every single moment. That little boy sitting on Santa’s lap is twenty years old. I genuinely miss those wonderful moments from long ago…)
Each year I get a terrific honor. I’m Santa Claus at our annual church fair. For the better part of Friday evening, and on Saturday morning, I am Santa. I’ve been doing this for a long time – since my kids were little.
When my kids were little and they talked to Santa, they didn’t know that the Santa they were talking to was me. It was a very special time – priceless might be the word for it. I savor in those great memories.
Well, I did it.
As I have shared, I was under-trained, a bit over weight, and unprepared for the race, but I knew I needed to do it. I’m still not fully recovered from the Achilles tear that kept me out of last year’s race. But all of that is now in the past.
At the Marathon Chapel at the start before the race, in one of the messages I delivered, I reminded the runners to trust God in their darkest moments on the course. I know I did.
I was toast by Mile 10. I had nothing left in the tank. But I pushed ever forward. Step-by-step all the way over the 26.2 miles to the glorious finish in Central Park.
My family has been struggling through the realities of cancer. Through this I have seen loved ones, especially my mother-in-law, exhibiting tremendous strength and character in the face of difficult news. Throughout all of this, the American Cancer Society has been a shining light – comprised of true miracle workers filled with kindness, support, and most of all, love. As I run the NYC Marathon on November 4, 2018, I would like to give back to this wonderful organization that does so much for so many. Thank you for your support.
Here is the link to my fundraising page:
Earlier today, my wife and I brought our son Ethan (a big Yankees fan and the Design Manager and frequent contributor to this site) back to college for his sophomore year.
I’m always a bit emotional and sad when I leave my kids at college. A part of me always feels empty when I contemplate the weeks and months that they’ll be away. I love when my sons are home, they make our home complete.
I think the best part of my life is just being Dad.
(This story is also published at www.startspreadingthenews.blog)
We were in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, Amish Country, with many family members to celebrate my father’s 80th birthday.
Our family started to gather in the hotel lobby so we could head off to dinner. Sitting at the center of it all, proudly wearing his Red Sox hat, was Dad, basking in the joy of togetherness. He had his wife and children with him – and a few of the grandkids. My dad loves his family even more than he loves the Red Sox (although he has loved the Red Sox longer than any of us. Dad’s love of the Sox goes back to 1946. He met my mom in the late 1950’s and my sister and I came more than a decade after that.)
(This piece is included in my acclaimed book, Impossible is an Illusion which is available on Amazon. This version has previously been published here as well, but…it’s Fathers’ Day and it’s a story worth telling again and again.)
I love baseball.
My dad loves baseball even more than I do.
That’s where this story begins…and ends. It’s what this story is all about. Baseball.
The American Game.
The Great American Game…
Well, maybe it’s about more than that. It’s about fathers and sons.
Sometimes we think we know the answers. Sometimes we are asked to tell the answers. Sometimes we think that we probably know everything.
But, many times we don’t know the answers.
And, often times the people we think we are telling the answers to actually have better knowledge than we do.
I’m just glad that sometimes (certainly not always), sometimes, I have the good sense to actually listen to those whom I am trying to teach.