I thought how some decades early, I must have layed in my mother’s arms, grasping a hold of her strong hands with my weak and delicate hands at my birth…Ironically, now the tables had turn albeit in a not-so-joyous occasion. Her weak and delicate hands now grasped mine…and while holding her hand that Thursday evening, January 8th, two days after receiving that urgent message to come to her side, my mother, Bettye Jean Glaspie made her transition to Eternity.
Using the weekend to mourn, we took to the difficult task of making funeral arrangements amidst our sorrow that following Monday. While making those arrangements, I realized my months’ long plan of spending MLK weekend in San Diego for NGBA’s Hillcrest Classic was looking grim. With being a board-member for NGBA and also heading up the Dallas ThunderCats (DTC), much planning and preparation had gone into this weekend on a number of fronts. Though not a surprised, it was decided that Home-going services for my mother would, in fact, be on MLK weekend. And although I realized that NGBA leadership and my DTC team knew that circumstances were unavoidable and out of my control…it was still somewhat disappointing that I would not be able to be with my extended DTC/NGBA family for the MLK weekend tourney.
That Friday evening, when I’m sure many were preparing for the Hillcrest Classic registration party in San Diego, I was moved to tears at my mother’s viewing ceremony to see a floral arrangement that was sent by my Dallas ThunderCats family. I was further moved the next day after the funeral service to look on our DTC Facebook page to see a picture of the guys with my mother’s initials inked on the hands of DTC players while huddled up before their Saturday play of games. That gesture let me know just how blessed and fortunate I was to be connected to such a genuine, quality group of individuals. Though bittersweet, a somber weekend was turning inspirational through the venue of an NGBA event.
While my DTC team’s good intentions and thoughtfulness brightened my day on Saturday, they were having some struggles of their own in San Diego. At the conclusion of Saturday’s round-robin of games with the DTC squad going win-less, I knew they were probably feeling down and out about not winning at least one game that Saturday, especially after sending me that Facebook tribute shoutout honoring my mother. In the same way that they had surprised me with the floral arrangement and the Facebook tribute…and in the same way that they had turned a rough day on Saturday into an inspirational one for me…I thought that there was something that I could offer as a return of gesture.
So when I first walked into that San Diego gym, having come straight from the airport, DTC was playing against a team they had just lost to that previous day. I was first comforted by a warm, consoling embrace from Mark Chambers (and other NGBA board members), who quickly ushered me to go be with my DTC team on the bench. The DTC’s surprised looks were priceless and the swarming hugs and show of love given to me was equally invaluable. But to be present and sit with them as they would eventually beat a team they had lost to the day before and then go on to win the championship against the Rockdogs, who have always seemed to best the DTC in tournament match-ups…was truly a storybook finish. In fact it’s a story…”A MOTHER WOULD BE PROUD OF!” I don’t know if it was my presence that made the difference, or if it was just therapeutic for all involved to have each other together at this particular time, or maybe even the fact that I didn’t want to lose money of a nonrefundable plane ticket…(my partner Trumaine, thinks it’s a little bit all of the above and then some lol). However, what I do know is it was truly a somber weekend that turned into a glorious home-going back to Dallas.
Thank you for the memories Dallas ThunderCats…Thank you for the memories NGBA…and most of all, THANK YOU FOR THE MEMORIES BETTY JEAN GLASPIE!
Much Love and Appreciation,
D. Dean Moore