I taught Sunday School yesterday. The class was prayers. I taught the children they could pray a Hail Mary type prayer or Just talk to God. I asked them what are they grateful for…some replied bikes, toys, etc. Then I asked does anyone here live in a house or have a roof over their head? Raise your hand. They all did. Does anyone here have food to eat or water or a beverage to drink? They all raised their hands. Now, I thought for a second if I’d thought I’d get a no to any of these answers… I would have not asked the questions and would have dealt with their need.
I wanted to make my children think and they did. We went around the room and I asked for their gratitude again. I got answers like houses, food, water, parents, education, etc this time. They thought. Now as a child I might have thought about toys, but it all starts somewhere.
As an adult, I want to say Thank you to a friends’ father who died. After thinking, I realize he had a bigger impact on my life than I realized. I’ll explain.
I realize now what a big impact Albert Westpfal had on my life.
He told his daughter and me to go to go see Bob Feller, the Indians Hall of Fame pitcher. Bob passed in the last year or so. At the time, I really did not know who Bob Feller was. Al Westpfal explained it to me and his daughter,Karen, the significance of Bob Feller’s baseball career. We went and got the autograph and met Bob Feller. This was the first baseball player I met and got his autograph. I have met hundreds since then. This was my first baseball card show. I have been to hundreds since then. This was my first because of Al. Out of the Baseball Hall of Famers, I met all but about 10 out of about 75. I met my husband and my best friend at a baseball card show. As you might know, I love baseball and so did Al. This all started with Al Westpfal. Thank you, Al. I did not realize he had such a great impact on my life. At the time, I was just a dumb 20 some year old. He was very kind and patient with me.
Fortunately, within the last year or so the phone # of Al popped in my head. I could not remember who the phone # belonged to. I dialed it and he answered. I apologized for any wrong doing I might have done as a dumb 20 something year old. He was kind and accepted. He said he always thought of me like a daughter and treated me like one. He did. I explained about my friendship with Duke Snider since 2000 and wanted to do something for Al to express my gratitude to him. I sent him an autographed Duke baseball that I knew he’d enjoy. It was nice when I did this…it was giving back to a man who did so much for me.
When my friend Duke Snider died, Al was the first one to contact me and express his sympathy of Duke’s passing. He heard about Duke’s passing on the news.
Thanks Al for everything you did for me. I’m so glad I got to apologize to you and express my gratitude to you in person on the phone. Thank you for your patience with me through the years. You made a great difference in my life. I appreciate it.
This also makes me think of a friend who said to me one time…Kim, I do not want to talk about the past. Well, I think the past leads us to a bridge to our future. It did in this case. I think Al knew this. Thanks again, Al.