Fredericksburg Parent

August 2013

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FAMILY VALUES the end game BY ELAINE STONE F inal match is over, ending a four-year collegiate tennis career. A dream had been realized, lived and completed. With every game and match, the end progressed closer. Love and passion could not prolong its inevitability. It would end. This was that day. With everyone gone, two seniors plopped in the middle of the courts. An hour passed, reminiscing about fun, challenges, failures and successes. This self-induced therapy released sadness and cultivated thanksgiving. These courts demanded skill and extracted countless hours of energy. These two had given the best of themselves. This was a "family" place — a second home. Stepping on a court was second nature, a place of familiarity, comfort. It was rightful and fitting that they end here. They faced it as every other challenge, together, as teammates do. This place flooded them with positive life experiences and lifetime memories. Lessons learned will now translate to courtside life; utilized still serving them well. As the tennis mom, this day brought emotion. One with more tears than smiles. A milestone accomplished, a dream brought to life, but it had its limits and it fell as a judge's gavel — hard, quick and jolt- 32 Fredericksburg Parent and Family • August 2013 ing. For four years time ticked down, yet its realization somehow unexpected. The joy, elation and fun of cheering finished. It was a moving on mixed with wanting to hold tight. Sadly, I would never again watch her compete, win or lose. To be honest, she and her co-captain were handling it better than me. They taught me a huge lesson, which was summarized the next day, when her teammate posted this quote, "Don't cry because it is over. Smile that it happened." (attributed to Dr. Seuss). Like a dart to the heart, I knew it was posted for me! They shared some emotion, but were overjoyed and thankful for what the experience afforded

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