Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Writer's Workshop-A Friend For Life And My 100th Post


I haven't participated in this much lately, but this really inspired me. This carnival, by Mama Katt, definitely can stretch your creative juices. Tonight, though, I'm only writing on one. You'll see why as you read.


1.) How did you meet your best friend?
(inspired by Kati from Country Girl, City Life)

SEE BELOW

2.) What are you feeling guilty about? or Memories of your childhood home.
(inspired by Josie from Sleep Is For The Weak)

3.) Tell why you are ecstatic "The one that got away" got away.
(inspired via twitter by Jay from Halftime Lessons)

4.) Have you found your bliss? What path did you take to get there? or are you still searching)
(inspired by Carma from Carma Sez)

5.) Create a conversation between one of these three couples:
(inspired by myself)



The fall of 1988 found me in a random North Texas College going to college as a freshman. I had picked this University for two simple reasons. One, I had a chance to walk on to their tennis team and two...well, my brother was going there.

I was not the most gifted socially and I felt that I need the security of having my brother there in case I got home sick or worse. So, in late August, I was trudging my way to the courts for the tryouts. I had a sense of dread as I felt I had gotten in over my head. You see, I wasn't that great in tennis. I was number three on my high school team...a small town high school team at that....and here I was playing against guys that went to region and state in 4A and above. Let's just say, I was a long shot to even be practicing the next day.

Well, as I was watching the action onfold on all the courts around me, I noticed that my earlier worries were ringing to be true. I was watching drills with the other players that I was competing against and I found they didn't miss a lot. One guy was an obviously rich asshole preppy with an red izod collared shirt. He had a fancy racket and was definitely standoffish. "He must be from the metroplex or Plano," I thought. Then I saw this guy hit a forehand into the net and say pretty loud, "HOOOORSSSSSSESHIT!" Okay, maybe I misread the cover on this book.

Roby Dearing was well off financially, but shy. He was not the asshole I pegged him to be. It turned out he was a farmer/rancher from north Texas. He was quiet, modest, and the best athlete I have ever known. In time, as our friendship grew, I knew that he was the strongest Christian I may ever really know.

From this first meeting, we developed a friendship that lasted through several years and weird moments. He was the one who took me to the Colonial Golf Tournament where I made Phil Mickelson wait to enter the tee box while I stood in the way oggling some girl. I was with him when his truck was broken into in Fort Worth. We were snowed in together as a freak snowstorm hit his house in 1990. All we had in the house was stale popcorn. Half starved, we decided to risk death to exposure to eat at the Green Frog Cafe in Jacksboro. We went to Ranger games, Cowboys training camp, and even a Mavericks game once. In Kansas City, where the NAIA national tennis tournament was held (oh yeah, I made the team), we paid a belly dancer to get Roby on stage and belly dance. It was the funniest five bucks I've ever spent.

We spent some sad times too. I was there when his grandfather died. I listened when he vented about his father's increasing signs of Alzheimers. He also helped me through the end of my first long term relationship. But, over the next decade, he would always be counted on for a game of golf, a pick up basketball game, or hitting the movies in Wichita Falls.

Then, in February 2000, Roby was diagnosed with Cancer.

He died in late June that year.

The day before his funeral, another friend, Grady, and I decided to spend the day playing golf and remebering Roby. We were to bring the balls that we hit the last putts in our round with to the funeral and lay them beside Roby. it was to be a tribute in our own way. As we stared at our friend in the casket, I guess my motor skills went sort of haywire and I dropped my ball inside the casket.

Grady looked at me with a "You didn't just do that, did you?" looks. We panicked for a moment. Here we were at the front of the church as the congregation was slowly filling up and I had dropped a golf ball that had fallen all the way to the bottom of the casket. We knew that when they moved him, it was going to roll back and forth. Fortunately, Grady solved the problem by reaching unobstrucively into the casket and finally found the wayward ball. The situation was saved.

As we said good bye, Grady and I knew, though, Roby was looking down on us laughing. He would be saying, "Man, that could've only happen to you, Lane."

10 comments:

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