what inspires us. (Amy’s legacy)

this bridge was where we formed one of my favorite memories of all time so i went back the day after her passing to make sure that her memory will live on, not only spiritually, but tangibly, at a place that played such an important role in our friendship.

wednesday nights at 8:00 pm, anywhere from 10–18 middle aged men assemble in a private christian school gym and play what many are saying to be “the most fundamentally sound game of basketball ever played”

(no one is saying that)

here’s the story of the most important game of ‘old man’ basketball i’ve ever played.

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i mentioned earlier that it was a church based group of dads that play basketball together. before the start of every session, everyone circles up and prays. this is important because prayer, praying for people, and church settings are the foundation of the relationship i’m about to describe.

every time we meet, before the lord’s prayer and the actual basketball, people have the opportunity to ask for prayers and support. usually i look down and just quietly observe, but today was different for many reasons.

today i spoke up and asked everyone to pray for my friend Amy. Amy Lee tragically passed away this week and suddenly an entire community is now forced to try to cope with the loss of person who was a light in every person’s life that she came in contact with.

i closed my eyes and prayed. i haven’t prayed in years. it felt weird but was also amazing to me because just the idea of having a community of people providing supportive thoughts makes me feel not so alone. after days of trying to comprehend and cope with all of this on my own, i finally just let it all go and prayed.

i guess the prayer worked (idk if that’s the right word) because i felt as if i was overtaken by this locked-in, motivated, confident version of myself that i’ve never seen before. i’m not saying that praying and seeking guidance through tragedy inspired me to play the best collection of pickup basketball games of all time, except i kind of am, but that isn’t the main point.

there’s something deeper than that.

amy’s lasting impact on my life won’t be me shooting 60% from the 3-point line against 50 year old white men. (not to brag)

rather, i will remember tonight because of the reason i felt so inspired.

(ok i’m at the point where if i mention my pickup basketball performance one more time i cross the line from “funny/ironic bit” to “guy who really wants people to think he’s good at basketball”)

i was inspired when i remembered the way she built the people around her up with positivity, friendship, and genuine, wholesome love. I was inspired when i thought of how incredibly selfless she was. I was inspired when i found comfort in the realization that she made an impact in so many lives and although she’s not here, so many people will carry on her legacy of wholesome, genuine love. when i prayed today i felt this tingly, numb feeling in my chest. it was a feeling of inspiration and a newfound sense of optimism. it changed my mindset and my approach to things. it was this tangible feeling in my chest of love and sadness, full and empty at the same time. it was a feeling of awe when i finally had a chance to pray and reflect on how special she truly was and come to the realization that i have the ability to carry on her personality and be a light in people’s lives.

so why was it such an important game of basketball christian?

i’ll tell you, concerned reader.

it had nothing to do with the basketball and everything to do with realizing, after one prayer, a moment of mindfulness, that i can learn from how amazing she was as a person and use that to attempt to be a better version of myself in everything i do. I realized how lucky i am to have had such a loving, genuine friend. i realize that while trying to cope with the loss of such an amazing person, it’s important to remember that while she is no longer with us, her legacy will be carried on by every person that she came in contact with. i realized all of that during a pickup basketball game, and THAT is why tonight was so important.

i love you Amy Lee. rest easy pal.

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