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Monday, December 28, 2015

Thank God for Cleveland Sports!

I am a Cleveland Sports fan!   I know some of you are laughing out loud and saying: “This explains the whole bipolar thing!”     Laugh if you will but we are a Cleveland Sports Family.
For seven years, I was a single mother of two children.   I divorced my first husband while pregnant with my daughter, so at the age of twenty-seven I found myself raising an infant baby girl and a two-year-old boy alone.   Bringing my daughter home from the hospital was traumatic for my son.   He had been the center of my world and suddenly, his father was gone and replaced by this crying baby girl who was taking up all of his mommy’s time.   To say he disliked his sister was an understatement.     He would pinch her and pull her hair every chance he would get.

I realized early that I needed to make quality time with my son.   I was now responsible for teaching this little boy about “man” things.   And let's face it,  I was divorced at twenty-seven, I had proven I understood absolutely nothing about men!    Every night I said a silent prayer to God to watch over my children and asked for guidance in raising them alone.   After putting the kids to bed one night, I started channel surfing and stumbled upon a Cleveland Indian’s baseball game.   The year was 1994, and the roster included Jim Thome, Omar Vizquel, and Kenny Lofton.   That was it!   I would bond with my son through baseball!   So began the ritual of putting my daughter to bed, curling up on the couch and watching Cleveland Indian Games with my son.     I knew nothing about sports, so we learned together.   I took my son to his first major league game when he was nine years old.   I took him to the game to become closer to him, teach him simple life lessons and make a "memory".   Fifteen years later, my grown son took me to an Indian’s game to become closer to me, talk about life lessons he has learned and reminisce about special baseball time with me.     Thank You God for the Cleveland Indians!

Years later, when I remarried, I vowed to love, honor and cherish my husband...and become a Cleveland Browns Fan.   Bill and I entered into our relationship quickly and selfishly gave very little thought to the consequences it would have on our children.   So virtually overnight, my family of two and his family of three was forced to blend.   These were five completely different children.   Their ages spanned from seven to twenty; two girls and three boys and their personalities couldn't be further apart from each other.   My husband came from a family of seven and his mother bonded with her sons by watching football.   When she died, the tradition fell to my husband and when we merged our families, the football tradition continued with us. Sunday football united our family. Being a Browns fan is not easy.   Every year you begin with lofty dreams of winning the first Cleveland super bowl. By the middle of the season your praying for a wild card seat in the playoffs and by the end of the season, you're just happy with a win over the Steelers.   As bad as the games may be, it was a bonding experience for our family. Together we broke bread, laughed, screamed at the TV, rejoiced in the wins and sulked in the defeats.     But more importantly, we had the opportunity to see each other weekly, talked about our lives, challenges we were facing and grow in our love for each other.   Thank you God for the Cleveland Browns

Baseball is for my son, Football is for my blended family, but Basketball is MINE!   In 2003, I became a Cleveland Cavalier fan.   My husband jokingly says I'm a “LeBron” fan.   That statement is probably true, but in my defense I continued to watch the Cav’s play even during the “dark years” when LeBron was in “exile” in Miami.

Basketball is a bipolar person’s dream and the Cavaliers are my therapy!         There are over 80 games spanning from October to April and if you’re lucky, you get to go to the playoffs and your season extends into the summer!     The games help get me through the change of seasons and major holidays which are all trigger times for me. Basketball is fast paced and easy to keep up with during a manic episode. Watching the CAV’s play is like watching an action, drama and comedy all at once, and you can openly express ALL your emotions in a matter of seconds without judgment.

Does basketball add to my spiritual growth?   I don’t know for sure.   I do know my intercessory prayer increases when there are three seconds on the clock, we are down by two and Moe Williams has to make a three-point shot for the win.       When we make it to the playoffs, it reaffirms my belief in miracles and divine intervention.   I believe everything comes from God and so I thank God for creating LeBron James!

One thing I know for sure is that Cleveland sports have been heaven sent to me personally.   It was instrumental in building a beautiful relationship between my son and I.   It united a dysfunctional blended family, and it eases my crazy mind.     So yes.....Cleveland Sports adds to my spiritual growth. So today I pray to our Heavenly Father, "Thank you for everything You have given me....everything You have taken from me...everything You have left for me...and Thank you God for Cleveland Sports!

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