Dateline: La Crosse, WI
I don’t believe in,
I do believe in,
bits of wonderful.
It is the bits of wonderful, that happen through out life, that is starting to make me believe, that maybe, there is a guiding hand in all of our lives,
Clearly, something is going on. And that something is bigger than us, and every once in awhile, that something sends us, bits of wonderful,
just to tell us,
The trick, or maybe the belief, the FAITH, is seeing, recognizing, the bits of wonderful, when it happens.
And I believe, truly believe, that the biggest bits of wonderful,
Love, is miracle number one.
I believe, that love, the feeling of love, is what we call our soul. And that love is eternal, love is what we leave behind, we are the only beings on this planet who can love, and to me, that is the miracle of life.
And that when the hand that guides us sends us bits of wonderful,
“…make us a shelter to weather the storm…”
“db, everything happens for a reason.”
Gerald Swindle is sitting on a couch that has seen much better days in a hotel room whose prime is long gone.
He is hatless, he is jersey less, he is Gerald Swindle-isms less. He is just my good friend drinking, “a cool-pop.”
If we weren’t close I guarantee we wouldn’t be having the conversation we are having.
Gerald is talking about God.
“db, we are all passengers on a bus, but we ain’t driving that bus brother.”
I tell him, “Dude, we are all on a ride, the chaos in life, the tension in life, happens when we try and control the ride, the beauty in life, the bits of wonderful in life happens when we just sit back and enjoy the ride. The ride knows where we are supposed to be and it will take us there.”
Gerald tips his “cool-pop” in my direction, “amen brother.”
This is the Gerald I know and love, the quiet, intelligent Gerald, not the G-Man, of stage…this is the man who opened his home to me, when I needed a place to stay, whose wife, LeAnn gave me her truck to drive around for WEEKS while my RV was being used elsewhere.
This is the Gerald, with the heart on his sleeve.
We are waiting for LeAnn to come back from a food run, Gerald is talking about the book that the two of us may write together, a book about his life and “want-to.”
“Everything I’ve got I got because of want-to, I wanted it so bad I worked my butt off to get it, you don’t see much want-to anymore do you db.”
I actually do see it, this want-to, in every working stiff I come across, want-to is still out there, it’s just want-to doesn’t get the press that, gimme-that, gets.
“Gerald, dude, if we do a book that has to be the title, Want-To.”
And the “cool-pop” gets a nod in my direction once again.
“db…I have to tell you, the more I think about what happened, the more I KNOW it was the catch of my life.”
And my sweet tea, nods in Gerald’s direction.
Yes it was my friend, yes it was, and what you caught,
bits of wonderful.
“…and I'll, be…”
“It was right after the Douglas Lake tourney [Editors note: The Southern Open #2 in April of 2013], I was whacking them in practice, really dialed in, LeAnn and I had pretty much planned on staying until Saturday, really felt I would make the top 12 cut easily.”
And in my notes, as he says that I write this, “Nobody wins practice,” something KVD keeps telling me as I kick his butt in our practice games, and then he destroys me when the real game starts.
“But, but, but db, comes the tournament and I suck, the whole thing unravels, I can’t get a bite, never even got close to making the cut, and I’m done, going home.”
Gerald is now white-knuckling his “cool-pop,” clearly, even though he says he’s over it…he ain’t.
“db…I just hate, HATE to lose.”
For the record, I wrote that quote down before he quoted it to me, when Gerald gets all worked up like that his ears turn red, so I intercepted the signal before he said the words.
As long as I say stuff like that I can sleep at night knowing I was journalistically correct with ya’ll.
“So, I’m mad, and LeAnn and I leave, don’t make the cut, and we head home, still sticks in my craw…”
“Yeah, okay, so when we get home and cleaned up I ask LeAnn if she wants to go out to eat at our favorite sushi place, have a date night, we have a date night every week, so LeAnn says sure, and off we go.”
“But as we are about to pull up to the sushi place…”
“…I make this split second decision…”
“…to instead go to the steakhouse across the street, don’t know why, we just went there instead.”
“…my brother's keeper…”
Welcome, Gerald, my friend, to The Ride.
“So db, we eat in the steakhouse, and the service was terrible, the food wasn’t that good, and I have no idea why we are here, instead of our favorite sushi place just across the parking lot.”
Dude, I know, your bus has departed, and you’re not driving.
“We pay the bill and leave, and as we go out the door, there is this elderly woman, maybe 70’s or 80 years old, standing by the curb holding onto a handicapped parking sign pole, and as we start to walk by her, she starts to wobble back and forth, then her hand slips off the pole and she starts falling head first into the parking lot…”
“…so both LeAnn and I run and just catch her before she does a face plant into the asphalt, and I’m holding on to this lady, my whole hand wraps around her tiny arm, and she is shaking, and db for once in my life I’m speechless, I don’t know what to say…”
“…and then I hear what I can only describe as the voice of an angel, and it’s my wife LeAnn, she is talking in such a calming voice to the woman, asking her name, how she is feeling, and I ‘m holding the lady and I can feel her stop shaking as LeAnn talks to her…”
“…and right then and there db I realized, that this, THIS, was the catch the man above wanted me to make this weekend.”
“…so the whole world will know…”
“I followed my gut instinct to go to the steakhouse over where we planned to go, because this, this lady was the catch I was SUPPOSED to make, here in this parking lot, not out there on Douglas Lake.”
And that would be Gerald’s greatest catch, except,
“LeAnn and I waited there with the woman until her husband came and picked her up, but it was when the two of us walked to the car, I was holding LeAnn’s hand, and it was then that it dawned on me that the biggest catch of my life, wasn’t that woman…it was LeAnn. The really biggest catch was the lady whose hand I was holding, and who I love dearly….sort of reminded me of that.”
Bits of wonderful.
If, for your faith, you need to see miracles, don’t look for the seas to part, or endless loaves of bread,
look to whose hand you hold,
look to the children you cradle.
“db it is nice to see that it works, it really works, that God directs my life.”
And that, Gerald my friend, may be the ultimate catch.
That we live on a planet,
where bits of wonderful happen,
and where the ride,
leads us to,
catches us all.
“… that we're not alone.”
Hold Us Together