I’ve been having trouble hearing out of my left ear for a while now.
Not looking for sympathy, because I’m sure it’s my own fault, and — as my lovely wife Rachel pointed out — it’s probably something that can be fixed pretty easily since I’m not all the way deaf yet.
I say it’s probably my own fault because I grew up believing the music I liked should be heard by everyone, even going so far as to put a $100 stereo system in a car I paid $500 for back in 1983.
When my dad found out what I had done, he yelled at me for 30 solid minutes. I have no idea what he said, but I got the idea he thought there were better ways I could have spent my money.
I’ll break down and get my hearing checked eventually, and obviously there are several good reasons to do it.
I still love listening to good music.
One of our almost famous dogs, Bentley, snores when he sleeps. We adopted him, and the fact he feels comfortable enough around us to sleep that deeply makes that snore a joyful noise.
I feed the birds in my neighborhood daily, and they pay me back by singing to me when I sit on my front porch.
My 20-year-old son talks non-stop about his workout routine, his golf game, the fantasy football leagues he participates in and his recent trips to New York and Hawaii as a manager with the Kilgore College Rangerettes.
He’s my only child, and some day he’s going to leave the nest. I don’t care if he wants to talk about the barometric pressure in Australia. As long as he still wants to talk to his old man, I want to hear it.
My lovely wife tells me she loves me at least 10 times a day. I don’t want to miss even one of those.
Mostly, though, I don’t want Rachel to pray about this bad ear thing.
Allow me to explain.
We got married back in 1998 in the middle of basketball season. Early the next season, I started having headaches every time I covered a basketball game.
It didn’t take long to figure out the headaches were being caused by the stress I was putting on my eyes trying to cover several basketball games a week with glasses that were about six years old and in need of an upgrade.
My bi-weekly paycheck disappeared faster than deviled eggs at a Baptist picnic, and Rachel was only working part time while she completed her master’s degree. Spending money on new glasses wasn’t going to happen anytime soon, so Rachel did what she typically does.
About a week after she began praying, I was covering a tournament at Longview’s Lobo Coliseum. I had 15 minutes between games while the next two teams warmed up, and I used that time to type up the game I had just covered so I wouldn’t fall too far behind and miss my deadline later that evening.
In my 36-plus years as a sports writer at three newspapers in East Texas, a conservative estimate of the number of basketball games I’ve covered would be around 750.
Care to guess how many times I’ve been hit with a basketball thrown by a player during those 750 games?
It’s possible it was simply a careless pass and strictly an accident, and I guess it’s not entirely out of the question a kid got tired of me spelling her name wrong and decided to perform open head surgery on me with a basketball.
But I believe the ball that hit me upside the head, shattered my glasses, cut me above the eyebrow and gave me a slight concussion was sent by the man upstairs — thanks to Rachel’s prayers.
The fact my company bought me a new pair of glasses since the “accident” happened on the job solidified my thinking on that.
I’m pretty sure Rachel has already begun praying about the situation with my ear, and I’ve learned over the years she doesn’t quit praying until she gets an answer.
So, if I seem a little jumpy at the press table these next few weeks, please understand.
I’ve witnessed first-hand the Lord works in mysterious — and sometimes painful — ways.