Yesterday was the one year anniversary of a great loss in my life and also a great loss to Chandler, Oklahoma. I grew up in Chandler and have fond memories. One of the greatest influences on my life outside of my family was my baseball coach, Mark Howard. He passed away from complications associated with early onset Alzheimer’s disease. I made a post one year ago today about my thoughts. That first post was a tough one to make and honestly it hasn’t gotten any easier to reflect on my experiences and the lessons learned from Mark.
At Mark’s funeral I was given a blue bracelet to remember him by, and I have worn it everyday for the past year. I decided this morning to take that bracelet off and put it with all my other baseball memories. I decided to take the bracelet off because I think that Mark would want me to move on. He taught us to remember our roots and traditions but he also taught us not to get hung up on the bad things that happen in our lives. I will never forget the lessons he taught me and I will continue to pass his legacy along to anyone I can. His dedication to his family and job were second to none and I try everyday to dedicated myself as much. I was lucky enough to work with Mark during the summers outside of baseball and he exhibited the same work ethic and determination no matter what the task at hand. You simply could not spend time around him without this rubbing off on you. As a young man growing up this example was invaluable. I know that he was able to touch the lives of so many young people through baseball and he will never be forgotten.
His family will always be a part of those he touched and we will all do anything to help them. They shared their husband and father with us and we will forever owe them a debt we can never repay.
Thank you Coach. Thank you Mel, Randee, and Karlee.