By ice rivers
This is a true story of golf, cancer and human nature.
On my third day I couldn't stop thinking of Champion Hills.
Champion Hills is the country club to which I belong.
I had to confront the reality that medical costs will make it impossible for me to keep up my membership.
I made up my mind to go over to the club to say goodbye after this morning's radiation.
The head pro at Champion Hills is named Darlene. Obviously, she can hit the ball a mile and putt with precision. Two weeks ago, Darlene had sent out to the members a note informing us of an increase in fees. Lynn responded back to her. In her response mentioned the fact that I had cancer and was taking radiation. The increase in club fees was gonna be difficult for us as we couldn't predict the progress of the radiation nor the potency of the after-effects.
The irony is that golf might be therapeutic. I just couldn't afford to play at my club anymore.
Pulling into the parking lot I remembered summer days past. The course was beginning to reawaken.
When I got to the clubhouse, Darlene was giving a lesson and preparing for a meeting with board of governors. She opened up the conversation with this; "Ice, you picked the worst time for us to talk"
"No problem Darlene. I'll stop back another time"
"How are you Ice ? What kind of cancer do you have"
When I told her it was prostate, Darlene said "Isn't that the one that's most treatable"
I said "Yes, I'm very lucky. I hadn't been doing a lot of planning lately other than thinking about each day"
I was warming up to resign as April 1 is the deadline for the fees.
Darlene said, "I was hoping you could take some pictures of the members this year".
I said "Of course I would"
Then Darlene blew my mind..."and as far as membership goes" she waved her hand dismissively "consider your dues paid. You're a member once again. What do you think about that?"
I was stunned. I thanked her for her kindness.
She said You're a good man"
We both had tears in our eyes.
She went back to her lesson.
I returned home to give the news to Lynn.
She was on the treadmill.
"Well, what did Darlene say?" she asked.
"We don't have to worry about the club anymore" was my cryptic response" and after a moment "Darlene said she would wave the membership fees this year".
Once again I was reminded about the millions and millions of random acts of kindness that are committed every day but overlooked in the sensational fog of the hundreds and hundreds of random acts of cruelty.
I could feel another cell of cynicism disintegrate, clobbered by the power of human understanding.