In light of the news that David Wright will be retiring from baseball, I wanted to address something that is very painful for David and me to talk about, and yet the defining line in the sand: his retirement. I have opened up about David’s reason for retiring here and there throughout this blog – or at least I think I have – I honestly can’t remember. My mind may as well be putty with the zillion things I am working on at any given moment of the day. Many of you know that I am getting my Master of Arts in Creative Writing and on that side of things, I am spending a lot of time writing, or more accurately, avoiding writing the hard stuff. As a nonfiction student, my thesis, which may or may not ever see the light of day, is all about David and my life. Baseball is obviously a huge part of our lives and therefore I am writing about everything we have experienced in the past six-plus years – the good, the bad, and the ugly.
By far, the most unbearable part of David’s career was his struggle with injuries. The physical ailments affected his mental state, and we all know the impact psychology has on life, in general. Aside from a minor surgery deemed required while playing at The University of Virginia, David’s body had always been whole. When he started playing professionally at 21, there was no concern for his health. Things changed, however, in May of 2010: he broke his ankle. When he slid into second base, ill-intentioned to break up a double-play that cold evening in Portland, Maine, the trajectory of his life would be forever changed. Although we could have lived without the suffering and whirlwind that followed, it was this moment that sealed our fate.
A few years after the initial injury, David and I found our way to the Lord. That is a whole other story but suffice it to say, had it not be for his injury, we aren’t sure what role God would play in our lives today. From that point on, struggling through his brokenness of body, David admitted praying to the Lord and asking quite specifically:
“Lord, I want to play this game as long as my body will allow. Once I am no longer physically able, please help me to acknowledge it is time for me to retire.”
The rest of his playing career was an uphill battle as David suffered through many more injuries, but the solace within all of the chaos was the time we were able to spend together. We experienced four seasons united as husband and wife, one of which he spent primarily in the big leagues. Despite everything, it is comforting to know that all we endured prepared David for the day he would retire, when he knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that it was his time. His heart, his mind, and his body were all in agreement. Since his retirement, I have asked him if he misses playing and if he wishes he could step in the batter’s box one more time and experience the adrenaline that comes from hitting a baseball. His answer is always a variation of,
“Sometimes, but then I go back to the fact that my body feels broken. There would be no way I could physically go out and play the way I am feeling.”
Fair enough, I concur, it was time for him to move on. But moving on as a player didn’t mean he would give up his passion, on the contrary, he would assume a new role that would afford him the opportunity to mentor young players and develop his knowledge of the game. I like to believe this is what he was destined for. The time David spent playing was preparing him for this career. A career that he was still able to transition into at a reasonable point in his life: twenty-nine. Not too young, not too old, justtttt right. (Like our boys like to say.)
So the injuries and the struggles, they hurt like heck to talk about, they bring about terrible memories, and yet without those struggles, without those pivotal experiences, we wouldn’t be where we are today. Since he was a little boy he dreamed of playing into his forties, but we learned the hard way the rarity that is. Sometimes, okay often, I lose sight of what an accomplishment it is for him to have been drafted to play professionally, let alone play in the big leagues. These are all things we must celebrate, but instead, we kick ourselves when we are down. We focus on the things we didn’t accomplish, the mistakes we made, instead of celebrating our successes, no matter how small.
Life is about perspective. A quick adjustment in how you look at things has the ability to change not only your life but the world.
Lastly, David is by no means in the minority of players who struggle with pain on a daily basis. There are many many more guys that go out and play every day and push through their own pain. Most don’t complain because it is of no use to them. In fact, complaining can actually hurt their careers, so they bite their tongues and fight through the discomfort; this is just part of the game, par for the course.
www.zimbio.com/pictures/6ruR57pUZ7B/New+York+Mets+v+New+York+Yankees/rBIsZtPtSPy” rel=”noopener”> Third Base Umpire Bill Welke calls a ball hit by John Buck #44 of the New York Mets fair resulting in an RBI single as David Adams #39 of the New York Yankees reaches down for the ball and David Wright #5 of the New York Mets looks on in the eighth inning during their game on May 30, 2013 at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx borough of New York City. (May 29, 2013 – Source: Al Bello/Getty Images North America)[/caption]http
Today the boys got their first look at daddy managing a baseball game. Although we only made it through about three innings because of the Florida heat, and the boys weren’t entirely sure why daddy wasn’t playing, it was a milestone for us! This is David’s second year coaching and first year as a manager. We are still getting adjusted to life away from playing, but this new adventure has been a blessing to our family. (more…)
Today, I am thirty-one. Is life in my thirties exactly how I imagined it? Not, exactly.
Time has flown by, our perception moving upward and onward with every passing year. I have become wiser with age, this is true for everyone, but there is still so much to learn. When we are young, opportunities are all around us, but without the wisdom we gain from years of “learning the hard way”, how are we to know what to do with them? Even today, I am at a crossroads; I have been given choices to make, but now, the decisions I settle on will affect my entire family – my husband, my children, even my parents. Despite being older and somewhat wiser, I still struggle with what to do. Do I listen to my heart or logic? I try to silence my mind, but there is so much noise. (My screaming boys surely don’t help with this.)
So as I vacillate back and forth, trying to figure out what path to take, and because it is my birthday, after all, I wanted to reflect on how my life has played out – pun intended. These are a few of the ways that my life has not turned out as I imagined and a few more ways that it has surprised me…
What My Life is Not
It is 2018 and David isn’t playing Major League baseball or professional baseball for that matter. In our hearts, we believed that he would be playing in the big leagues well into our thirties. He was born to play baseball, we always thought, and he had many wonderful years of doing just that, but what we expected to be his predetermined destiny, just wasn’t so. There are so many factors that go into succeeding in the big leagues, and the cards just didn’t fall into place the way we hoped.
As is to be expected, we aren’t where we thought we would be financially speaking, which falls in line with things not going as planned for David professionally. After years of struggling through the minor leagues, I thought we had jumped over a big hurdle when David made his MLB debut on his twenty-sixth birthday – what a good omen?! Yet things just didn’t pan out that way, and the obstacles just kept coming.
After years of jumping around from organization to organization, David hung up his cleats – an expression that we use in baseball. Since his retirement, I also retired from being a stay-at-home-mom. Being at home with the boys day-in and day-out just wasn’t working for me. I was going crazy stuck at home with two toddlers who couldn’t, and still can’t, find a way to keep their hands to themselves. So I put the kids in school full-time, and I went back to work at twenty-nine.
Even though I had tried to work real estate for a while, I always knew a career path as a realtor wasn’t for me. I could give you a list of reasons why, but I will spare you. Nevertheless, since real estate didn’t work out, and my life as a baseball wife was in transition, it was time for me to find work. Work that would bring in a steady income, and that is precisely what I did – just shy of the thirtieth birthday.
What My Life IS
My life is full of blessings. Even though David’s career took a detour earlier than we had planned, I can confidently say that our family is right where it is meant to be. Since he started coaching, I have seen David come to life. He is thrilled with his job, and I have seen him evolve and mature as a man, husband, and father exponentially from it. If I didn’t know better, I would say coaching was his calling from the start. 😉
Somehow, without putting too much thought into when would be the right moment to have children, we had our babies at the perfect time for our family. David and I have two beautiful, healthy boys and I really can’t ask for more than this. Above all, I am grateful for our health and the all the blessings that have been bestowed upon our little family.
Soon after David retired from playing, and right after we both turned thirty, I went back to school to pursue my career as a writer. I have always been passionate about writing, and publishing a book has been in my purview for years. Few things make me as happy as being able to sit and write, but in my twenties, I was preoccupied with other things, and my writing took a backseat.
The biggest lesson I have learned in the last thirty-one years is that time is a gift. It has a way of healing wounds and allowing you to see the beauty in the challenges life throws you. It is in precious time that I have come to realize that if everything were precisely how we had planned, my aspirations would have gone unattended and life would look very different. If things had played out any differently, I highly doubt I would have had the initiative to go back to graduate school and find the drive to write a book, regardless of whether it ever gets published.
My reasons for living and thriving have changed, and my boys have become my why; they are the reason I aspire to do everything I do. David’s change in career was a blessing in disguise, not only has it been wonderful for him, it has also helped me to realize that I need to work on me, too. Focusing solely on his career and my boys’ lives isn’t healthy – there needs to be a balance.
Now suddenly I am thirty-one. I didn’t arrive at my current destination by chance, I am where I am after many years and many more falls, but when I look at everything objectively, I can honestly say my life is exactly how it should be.
Hi everyone! For a while now, I have considered My Serendipitous Life as a Baseball Wife a retired blog. But the truth is, I never stopped being a baseball wife. David retired from playing baseball after the 2016 season with the Blue Jays and he jumped in head first to coaching. He is in his second season as a coach with New York Yankees’ Player Development and WOW, are there a lot of differences between playing and coaching! To say that the last few years have been an adjustment would be an understatement. That being said, I think David is exactly where he is supposed to be. I have decided that I want to pick up where I left off and continue blogging about our life in baseball and I hope that you will join me.
Since I have been silent for the last few years, I will have to reminisce a bit and give you some backstory until I can catch up fully to where we are in our current experiences. I really do hope that you will stick with us through our evolution. In order to grow this blog, however, I have decided to branch away from WordPress.com and create my own self-hosted blog which you can follow at www.MyLifeAsABaseballWife.com.
If you will notice, I dropped Serendipitousfrom the title. Although I love the word serendipity, it just doesn’t align with my beliefs anymore. I believe a lot more in fate than I do serendipity and so it seems appropriate to drop the word altogether and stick to My Life As A Baseball Wife.
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I am so excited to share this post with all of you today. Yesterday I had the pleasure of connecting with a wonderful baseball wife who felt led to share her deepest thoughts and emotions with our baseball family. Courtney very bravely posted the piece below on a private group we have for baseball wives and girlfriends and the response she received was heartwarming. So many women, including myself, were incredibly moved by what she had to say.
Even though we are all at different points in our journey, the baseball community shares many of the same emotional, psychological and lastly, physical struggles. This very special life we lead is one of many blessings, but it also comes with many hardships that most will never see or understand. Many wives commented that they were in tears after reading Courtney’s post and I can say that I had a hard time reading it myself. I was overwhelmed with emotions that run deep despite my pregnancy hormones. I urge you to take a moment to read the beautifully written piece below; It will give many a little insight into our baseball lives. Without further ado…
“There’s no Cinderella’s in baseball. Who you are and what you are will show itself sooner or later.” The past week has been one of the toughest for me emotionally. Of course it doesn’t help that I have the hormones of a typhoon raging within, either. But if I were a betting lady I’d be willing to bet that these emotions would be here regardless of the growth of little one. If there is one thing I have come to respect about my husband, it’s that he has the determination of a mule. When you take something from him that he is passionate about, you better get strapped in and buckle down for the ride. Because he’s about to prove himself in ways you didn’t even know existed. Baseball is his first love. The feel of the ball between his fingers, the smell of the grass on the field, the feel of the dirt on the mound, the rush of a setup and the motion of the pitch. All of this is second nature to him. It’s in his blood. In his soul. He has worked harder than I ever contemplated working in his 26 years on this earth. He has sacrificed more sweat and tears than I can count. In 2010 he was drafted into affiliated ball. A dream come true. A dream that suddenly went from one of pure love to one of pure agony. Most people have no idea what a minor leaguer goes through. Believe me, I know there are people out there that literally give up their lives for another. I respect that completely. But there’s something to be said for a guy who puts his life on pause for a game he loves. He packs his stuff, drives off with his family behind, stays in hotels that you wouldn’t even think about stopping at, sleeps on busses for 10-18 hours while traveling to the next field, grinds day in and day out working his body to maximum potentials and fights to keep a job every day because there are others out there hunting for it. Then turns to the fans, smiles, waves and signs balls or cards with a smile on his face and a pep in his step; hiding the strain and tiredness that the 5th cup of coffee he just poured himself is trying to hide. His bank account gets the $7-850 deposit every two weeks and his bills slowly pile because there is no such thing as a paycheck in the offseason. All for a dream. A dream to get to where every ball player wants to be. Then one day you find yourself sitting on the couch, almost 6 years later, baseball-less. I always wondered what this day would feel like and I must say, it feels a lot like an unexpected breakup with a first love. After all, that’s basically what it is. The “my feelings have changed” emptiness of questions that you have at the moment you are no longer in a relationship take over. And like all of our first breakups, the first days are hard. Emotional. Aggravating. As each day passes, the numbness fades and things get better. That’s what the initial seconds of the “I’ve been released” moment feels like. Gut wrenching, sword in the stomach pain. That was almost 2 weeks ago. What I love about my husband is that he hasn’t crawled into a dark space and felt sorry for himself. He hasn’t even gotten so angry that he made irrationally destructive decisions. Nope. He takes it to the mound. He continues to work hard and train. We may be crazy, but we are Noah. I’m sure most people thought he was insane, literally, when he began constructing the ark. I mean who builds a boat for animals, when you’ve never even seen rain? I’ll tell you who. A man who heard His God speak. A man who listened. A man who prepared his field, no matter the cost. Last season, this same time, we were walking through a miscarriage. Now, we are anxiously waiting the birth of our precious Addelyn. No matter what comes, her tiny life will not be taken for granted because we know what it feels like to lose one. Now, a year later, we walk through a release. A death in some sense. We learned last year that the beauty of it is new life always comes next. We have no idea what tomorrow brings. We really don’t even know what the next minute brings. But the one thing we do know is that baseball is not over. And when he gets the opportunity he has worked so hard for, it will not be taken for granted. All that He requires of us is faith as tiny as a mustard seed. Even if what He has called you to do seems so incredibly out of reach, if you believe He can and will provide what you need to fulfill your calling, that He has given, He will give it. So just as the farmer prepared his field for rain, believing His God would bring it, we too prepare our field for the next step. We must always be ready for the opportunity to fulfill The Divine Calling to come. Because if we aren’t, it will never be as powerful as it was intended to be and we might even miss it. One day we will look back on this and see how all of those grungy nights on a bus or sleeping in a bed that most wouldn’t even sit on, the strain, the stress, the pay that seems like nothing and every second of the struggle, the preparation and the wait will all be worth it. Not because he made the show. No, because he obeyed the calling.
I found this beautiful quote by an unknown writer:
“Our Family is a circle of strength; Founded on Faith, Joined in Love & Kept by God, Together…Forever.”
In my last post I outlined five topics that I was going to touch on throughout this blog and today I felt compelled to start with Faith and Family. So what does Family mean to me? In short, I believe our family is comprised of the people that we love.
The above is a rather simplistic explanation so let me elaborate. In my opinion, a Family is a tight unit joined, not only by blood and love but by a commitment witnessed by God. We live in an ever-evolving world with relentless sensory overload. Because of this, it is so easy to get caught up in the things of this world and forget the things that are most important. This is why I believe that in order for a family unit to exist in harmony, it must share the same morals and values that subsequently fuel it to thrive. This is why the quote above resonated with me so deeply. We all know there are dysfunctional families out there – we all have them – but when our family unit is not held together by something greater than our own self-interests, chaos and disjointedness can ensue.
In the case of my family, we follow one God – Jesus Christ. He guides our beliefs, and therefore, our morals and values. He is the foundation of our family and our faith in Him is what gives us the strength to respect one another as individuals, but also as a unit.
Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate. Matthew 19:6
We will forever be together – in this world and in the next.