As my Aunt and I continue to sit with my Nanny, I attempt to find things to occupy my time. In good times I am not one to sit still for long. I do love to read but I am also finding that there are some books that do not hold my attention (not unusual when one is stressed and grieving). However, there have been a few books which I have enjoyed.
After reading an excerpt in Oprah’s magazine, I decided to read Pat Summitt’s Book Sum It Up 1,098 Victories, a Couple of Irrelevant Losses and Life in Perspective.
At 5 feet tall, I am not a basketball player but I am Kentucky born and my blood runs Kentucky blue. Thus, like most Kentuckians I feel like I’ve been watching basketball since the time I was born (and before). Although I can recite to you the Championships won by the University of Kentucky’s Men’s basketball team and the names of many players, I admit after reading this book that I know very little about the world of women’s basketball.
Pat Summitt is a legend in the sport and she wrote this book as a retrospective after being diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s. This book shares the story of how she helped to develop and coach the University of Tennessee became the powerhouse in women’s basketball that they have become. It is a lesson in leadership and coaching and helping young women to become better and to work together as a unit. As a Kentucky girl, I will publicly admit that I respect this woman – even though she does wear that color orange.
As I finished the book last night, the final four sentences stood out to me and I wanted to share them with everyone.
“God doesn’t take things away to be cruel. He takes away things to make room for other things. He takes things away to lighten us. He takes things away so we can fly.”
Although she wrote these sentences from the perspective of a woman knowing she will lose her memory, I easily could understand and felt like these words were for me. I sit and watch my Nanny and could easily be angry at God (and there are times when I am) but as I continuously remind myself – it’s all about perspective.
I am tired and have not even begun to grieve the death of my mother as I prepare for Nanny to die. I look at the future and can easily be weighed down from emotions and the work that will need to be done.
I’m choosing to hang on to Pat’s words that things are being taken away from me to make room for other things.
Thank you Pat Summitt for writing words that I needed to hear. Even if you aren’t a basketball fan, I encourage you to read this book.