Sunday, March 22, 2009

Play Ball!

The Lyon side of our family has always been huge baseball fans!
I can't tell you how many baseball and softball games Megan and I sat through growing up. Megan now gets to continue that tradition with watching her boys play but I'm sure that it is not quite as the adventure as when we were kids playing hide and seek at some Bakersfield baseball field. The reason for this whole "baseball" walk down memory lane is that my brother Tim just recently wrote a beautiful baseball tribute to my dad that I wanted to share. He captured our childhood growing up with a man who adored baseball and instilled with us a love for the Dodger Blue!

82 Personal Development • Volume 2, Number 2 • 2009

“If you build it, he will come.” Seven small, but very powerful words to sons around
the world who have played catch with their fathers while growing up. The movie Field of Dreams captured this moment perfectly. ESPN columnist Bill Simmons was quoted as saying, “I’ve always thought there were two types of people: those who love Field
of Dreams, and those who have no soul.”

Baseball, apple pie, and a father and son playing catch are about as American as it gets. I have no greater memory of my childhood than the times my dad and I played catch. We would throw for hours and hours. No words needed to be spoken.

It was Sunday, April 15, 1989, and I remember it like it was yesterday. Three generations of the Lyon family together at Dodger Stadium. My dad wanted to make sure
he was there when my own son attended his first Dodgers game. Trevor was only eighteen months old and had no idea what was going on, but it was a great day for the three of us; my dad, my son, and me at Dodger Stadium, eating Dodger Dogs, and listening to Vin Scully on the radio as we watched the game. That was a day I will always remember.

Vin Scully, the Hall of Fame broadcaster and “voice” of the Los Angeles Dodgers, was
something my dad and I always shared. My dad taught me to appreciate Vinny, as we called him. More storyteller than broadcaster, his voice is like no other.

I got to spend a few days with my dad the summer he passed. He was bedridden in his
living room and couldn’t open his eyes those last few days, but each of those nights we were together we would listen to Vinny call the Dodger games. We sat together for three hours, a peaceful feeling in the room each night as Vinny told his stories. I remember one moment that summer when my dad asked me if I wanted to play catch. I just said, “Sure,” but knew, of course, it was just a dream—Parkinson’s was winning the battle. Five minutes later he wanted to know why we weren’t out playing catch. He asked me if I was afraid, if I thought I couldn’t handle his best stuff. As a tear rolled down my cheek, I told him that was exactly right. About an hour later he spoke again. He knew he was dying. “I am never going to play catch or swing a bat
again, am I?” he asked. I told him, “No Dad, probably not.” Three days later my dad left us.

I remembered the night I won my first fast pitch softball world championship and I
called my dad. He was so proud. Musician Marc Cohn wrote: “How many roads
you’ve traveled, how many dreams you’ve chased, across sand and sky and gravel, looking for one safe place, will you make a smoother landing, when you break your
fall from grace, into the arms of understanding, looking for one safe place.”

I will always remember the days we played catch for hours and hours; that was my one safe place. Playing catch is something dads and sons have always done, and I hope always will.

Thanks Dad.
—Tim Lyon
Tim Lyon is the co-publisher of Personal Development.
Expressions A Safe Place

Friday, March 20, 2009

Happy First Day of Spring!

Ever since I was a little girl, I have always loved the first day of SPRING! Even as a teacher, each year my students and I would celebrate the first year of spring. So...just a reminder to everyone...enjoy this day!

Monday, February 16, 2009

But I thought that I was your GIRLFRIEND!

Hudson has always been my lovey boy. He always wants to hug mommy and is quick to give me a hug. So imagine my surprise last week when he started talking about his new friend CJ. I assumed CJ was a new friend from preschool. Trying to figure out who this CJ was, I asked what HE looked like. Hudson replied that SHE has lots of "dots" on her face and super, super blonde hair. Oh, so CJ is a GIRL?! All weekend he has been talking about CJ. Well this morning I went upstairs and found that Hudson had created (all on his own) the initials C J made out of train tracks. I am conflicted about whether I should be proud that he knows the letters of the alphabet so well or saddened that he no longer considers mommy his girlfriend.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Monet or Elmer's Glue?

Are You Kidding ME?...Delaney and I were at her horseback riding lessons, softly brushing Monet. I know better than to ever stand behind a horse, but unfortunately learned (the hard way)that you have to be careful standing to the side of the horse as well. We were brushing Monet, and apparently she didn't like my brushing techniques when all of a sudden she KICKED me SIDEWAYS! Square on my thigh! Oh My, that is a pain that I hope to never repeat. I have a full horse hoof print on my thigh. I was going to have Matt take a picture of it to post but then thought that you might not appreciate having a picture of my mangled thigh to look at. Needless to say, I will be much more alert around Monet from here on out!

(delaney wanted me to add the disclaimer that of course I am joking about even implying that I would turn Monet into glue!)

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Delaney and Monet

Delaney has started taking horseback riding lessons. She has been having a great time and looks so darn cute riding her horse Monet. Delaney loves having her friends Hannah and Sophia taking the lessons too. (Although I think Meagan, Erin and I got a little more than we bargained for!)

Monday, February 9, 2009

Hudson the Engineer

Hudson can spend all day taking any regular household item and creating the most wonderful creations! This is his latest "tower" built out of apple juice boxes and chocolate milk. He was very proud!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Happy Birthday Dad!

My dad's birthday was January 8th. He would laugh, although love, that he was a topic on my blog. For those who did not have the true pleasure of meeting my dad, I wanted to share some of my favorite things about him. My dad had the driest, most sarcastic sense of humor (it apparently was a genetic trait that he passed on to us kids!) He always made up the funniest sayings, little tunes and songs. I often find myself doing the same thing with delaney and hudson. We have silly songs and sayings that we say that we are not quite sure what they even mean, they just somehow seem to fit so naturally with our family. My dad was a generous man, the kind of man that taught us kids to give money to those who needed it, always stressing that there was someone who would always need it more than us. He gave to people he knew and those who would never even know his name. I hope that I can help to instill that kind of generous spirit in delaney and hudson. Life with my dad wasn't always easy. But for those of you who wonder and question whether someone can change, I can assure you that they can! My dad's illness changed him. The last few years of his life were filled with much sorrow as we watched him deteriorate but they were also filled with love and laughter and the assurance that he loved us unconditionally! My dad also loved being a grandfather. He radiated love whenever he was around them. The walls of his house were covered with drawings that all of the grand kids had made for him. He displayed them with pride and as if each one belonged in a museum.

As another birthday passes and thoughts of him fill my heart and mind, I smile.

Happy Birthday Dad!