More than blind luck for new League

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Inspiration comes in many forms, and often, by ways that are the least expected.

For artists, the gentle sway of branches in the wind can create a visual masterpiece on canvas, while the same action could cause poets to pen infamous words set to be etched forever in on the mind.

Thoreau said, “If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put foundations under them.”

That is where the Covington County Miracle Field project is – volunteers are now working on plans to generate the needed funds to construct a baseball field where special needs children who are unable to play on traditional youth sports leagues can enjoy America’s favorite pastime.

Here’s where the inspiration comes in. For many days, I’ve been following a blog by the Canahauati family in Bellaire, Texas, whose daughter, 18-month-old Avery, was diagnosed on April 6 with spinal muscular atrophy. SMA is an incurable, genetic disorder that attacks spinal neurons and progressively debilitates muscle function. Doctors gave Avery, who has Type I, 18 months to live.

To cherish every moment with their daughter, the Canahuatis created “Avery’s Bucket List,” which was described by Good Morning America as “a sweet and joyful blog” written from Avery’s perspective, where her parents chronicled her world and track their family adventures, checking things off from the bucket list as they went.

Noticed I said, “chronicled.” Avery died Monday, but not before – get this – she threw out the first pitch at a minor league baseball game in Houston, got a tattoo, a driver’s license and had her first kiss.

If that doesn’t inspire you to appreciate every moment spent with your child and to live life to the fullest, I don’t know what can.

I’m lucky. While two of my three children are classified as “special needs,” only one would qualify to play in the league. Visually impaired, she’s a member of the “Sweet Heat” softball team, who only hits the ball (and God forgive me for saying this) by blind luck. But she doesn’t care, really. She’s just there to have a good time and buy bubble gum from the concession stand.

Other kids aren’t lucky enough to ever step on foot on a field, and quite frankly, that’s unacceptable.

Google Avery’s family’s journey. Watch how they didn’t falter when life threw them a curve ball. Feel their strength as they make memories that will last a lifetime and enjoy their smiles from small triumphs as if you created them yourself – and remember, you have the power to do the same for families in Covington County.

Contributions to the Miracle League of Covington County can be sent to the Andalusia Rotary Foundation, P.O. Box 1971, Andalusia, AL 36420.