A little perspective

Dave · April 19, 2007 at 6:54 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

For the first time all year, I didn’t watch one pitch of the game today. I left the house about a half hour before the game started, and I didn’t get back until after it was over (which is why you didn’t get a game thread – sorry about that). I wasn’t taking an intentional day off from the team or boycotting Jarrod Washburn. Instead, I went to the hospital to see a little girl named Skylar.

She’s six years old, and she’s in the pediatric ICU at Baptist Medical Center here in Winston Salem. On April 5th, she was in a car that got into a collision that caused a large accident, and in the process, her neck was separated from her spine. She has limited movement of her right side, almost no movement in her left side, and is unable to talk. She’s six years old, but she’s a fighter, and she’s going to make it through.

For a few hours, I forgot that Felix Hernandez existed. His strained flexor couldn’t have been further from my mind. It didn’t matter.

No one’s a bigger fan of Felix than I am, and I get a lot of joy out of watching him pitch. But man, spend a few hours with a girl like Skylar, and you’ll care a lot less. Some things in life matter more than others. I want Felix to get well, but I want Skylar to get well a lot more.


19 Responses to “A little perspective”

  1. Josh on April 19th, 2007 6:57 pm

    That’s very true; and it was a great thing to do.

  2. Greg08 on April 19th, 2007 7:11 pm

    i hope she gets well
    thats much more important than baseball

  3. Otto on April 19th, 2007 7:31 pm

    Long live Skylar. Our thoughts and supportive prayers flow.

  4. patl on April 19th, 2007 7:57 pm

    Thanks for writing this, Dave. My prayers are with Skylar.

  5. benjamin on April 19th, 2007 7:59 pm

    You are fortunate to gain this perspective now in your life. As I have aged (typical middle-aged grumpy old-man) my perspective on life and what truly are the critical issues that we face in life, have changed dramatically.

    So, my question to you is — after this experience, what is going to change in your life?

  6. argh on April 19th, 2007 8:17 pm

    There is nothing to bring us back to the pain of this (very temporary) earth more than a life encounter with a profoundly sick or injured child. I know this from sad and personal experience. May Skyla pull through to a fullfilling life. The next time you visit, read her a story or play a song from me, at least in spirit.

  7. Jar on April 19th, 2007 8:23 pm

    Thanks Dave,
    I respect you for your baseball knowledge, but way more for this.

  8. zzyzx on April 19th, 2007 8:25 pm

    How do you know her? I’m wishing her the best.

  9. msb on April 19th, 2007 8:45 pm

    Blyleven made much the same point on KJR this morning when invited to wring his hands over Felix …. he opined that what happened in WV was a tragedy, and what happened to Felix was probably just a hiccup in his career.

  10. davepaisley on April 19th, 2007 9:54 pm

    Va Tech is in Virginia proper, not W Va, but yeah, that’s the right attitude.


  11. Mr. Egaas on April 19th, 2007 9:57 pm

    Be sure to keep us updated on Skylar. We’re all instant fans.

  12. wabbles on April 19th, 2007 10:48 pm

    Yeah Dave I hear ya. I used to work with a woman who moved from Oregon to Washington with her two kids so her husband could take a job at a relatives’ business. Then he had a disagreement with the relatives and quit. So he was working two and three and four part time jobs (and she was working almost fulltime at the newspaper) to support his family. He finally got a job with the school district. So in 2004 I had a REAL hard time listening to how Ichiro was under “pressure” to break George Sisler’s single season hit record. Myself, I’ve had hydrocephalus since I had meningitis as an infant. After nine surgeries in 14 years, I’ve had none since Oct. 8, 1992, knock on wood. (I might be able to point you and Skyler to some resources, by the way.) Then about a 1.5 years ago I was rescued by the U.S. Coast Guard after spending three nights in the wilderness with nothing. So this is a nice diversion. But after I calm down, I do realize that infuriating things like the Vidro deal aren’t life and death.

  13. Red Apple on April 19th, 2007 11:05 pm

    Thanks for putting things in perspective, Dave. Is there a Skylar fund? I’m sure there would be a swell of support from the USS Mariner community.

  14. DC Mariner on April 19th, 2007 11:36 pm

    Thanks Dave,
    Like a few mentioned earlier, Felix’s health really does pale in comparison to the thousands of real tragedies that happen in this world everyday. As a baseball community noone here should fault anyone else for their passion for the game and its players, but at least for me personally (as a prof. staff member at the student union of a major university) just thinking about what happened over at VT, and the possibility of it happening anywhere else, can really help to ground me. On one level in each our lives, Felix is the biggest concern. But more importantly, on a more macro level, we know we can look at the innumerable wrongs done everyday in every place in the world, and feel blessed/lucky. The fact that we can all come togethor and mourn over a ballplayer just shows how lucky each one of us truely is. It’s an opportunity that not everyone in the world has.

  15. oddmanrush on April 20th, 2007 7:00 am

    My thoughts and prayers are with Skylar. Thanks for writing about this. It’s good to remember that there are more important things in life than baseball.

  16. Dave on April 20th, 2007 7:48 am

    Thanks for putting things in perspective, Dave. Is there a Skylar fund? I’m sure there would be a swell of support from the USS Mariner community.

    As far as I know, there isn’t a fund setup for her. However, if you want to send some money to her family, drop us an email and I’ll give you an address to mail a check to.

  17. msb on April 20th, 2007 8:23 am

    I believe most banks have a procedure in place for setting up assistance funds in the name of a specific person; it might just be a matter of contacting one with the information and asking …

  18. Mariner Fan in CO Exile on April 20th, 2007 9:04 am

    Great post, Dave. I pray Skylar will recover quickly. What a thing for her parents to face, and for her to battle. Such a thing is one of my biggest fears for my own children.

    My good buddy from law school (there were four of us in a study group through 3 years) lost his wife to cancer almost exactly one year ago. He has 4 kids all under the age of 8 (the youngest just turned 3). Whenever I start to feel depressed about a sporting event or small trial in life, I just remember what he gets to deal with on a daily basis. My life and complaints seem meaningless at that point. It’s good to see so many of us feel the same way about things.

  19. Panev on April 20th, 2007 10:15 am

    Sad story.

    While not knowing the details, this is a great reminder to all parents and drivers to have children in car seats, booster seats and use seatbelts. And no kids in front seats, with air bags or not.

    Skylar sounds like a trooper, and best wishes to her.

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