A belle is defined as a woman or girl admired for her beauty or charm. As in, the belle of the ball. Well, allow me to introduce the Twin Falls Belles.
These girls define the word belle in every way. My niece plays for the team, while my brother-in-law coaches, and my sister manages or, in other words, runs the money and stresses out over a lot of emails and intense parents. I’ve been really into watching them play tournaments whenever they are close to Idaho Falls. I have been so lucky. The tournaments I have attended all fell on chemotherapy weeks so going kept my mind off me and made it way more tolerable.
However, nothing could have prepared me for the most recent tournament here on Idaho Falls. When I showed up to drop the girls and Eric off for their first early morning game on Friday I was confused when they were all wearing pink uniforms. Karen hadn’t said a word and my niece left the house dressed in gray. It wasn’t until the head coach turned around and showed me the back that I really understood. The team had a breast cancer ribbon wrapped around a softball with the words “battle for Mary” printed on the ribbon. I cried! I didn’t cry for me, although I was touched, I cried because this had been done to honor my sister. While I love these girls and they have truly lifted my spirit at some very difficult times, they were showing the most tender mercy to my sister who gives all she has to everyone she can. I wept all the way home to pick her up, wondering how I was going to hide my crying. Luckily, she was in such a hurry she just yelled at everyone to get in the cars and we were all off. Oh, she cried too! She cried when she saw the team, knowing it had all been coordinated by the coaches and parents. Then, mom cried.
The girls played the best game I have ever seen them play. The first game they played, they were there to win. The other team could hardly get on base. I was a bit confused when the last batter hit a double and they called her in to the dugout. Then, I realized that the game had been called because they were so far ahead. My precious niece had killer hits in every game. She was amazing. All of the girls were. The final game they played was a close one. The loss was tough to swallow but the girls went down with a fight. They played like they never have before.
To those girls, I say: “you are true belles. You have scored a run in my heart that will be talked about long after you play for other teams. You are beautiful. You are charming. You will forever be the belle of the ball game. I am so grateful for the act of dedication to the way you played that hot day in July. Thank you for recognizing my sister and loving her. You give me hope that there are still great people out there. You are wonderful girls and you will make amazing women.”
I wouldn’t have guessed that a 14u softball team could touch my heart so profoundly but they have left their mark. If life was to be measured in statistics, I would hope that I can have a few RBIs like the one these girls have scored. May I be as dedicated to lifting the hope of others as they have been to lifting mine. Go Belles!!!!