How Do You Know It’s Bad

My oldest son Colin has been playing professional basketball since he graduated from University of Fairbanks, Alaska in 2009. First he played in Cottbus, Germany and led his team to the championship. Next it was off to Darwin, Australia where he averaged 27 points per game including three 42 point games (hitting 10 three pointers several times in one game!) Recently he signed with a club in England.

We were excited. My grandfather was a Coldstream Guard in London during WW2. I spend five summers in England as a child. My late mother met my father in Ryslip, England in 1949 where my father was playing semi-pro basketball while stationed in Uxbridge. Colin’s skills and hard work had united three generations. It had come full circle.

When Colin arrived at Heathrow Airport last week, he was detained for seven hours by customs. Evidently he did not have the correct Visa. Inevitably he was sent back to America to sort out this faux-pas. He mentioned he was hungry after six hours and was directed to a table where there was a bag of potato chips and a moldy orange. (The British are not famous for their food.)

Devastated, exhausted after 36 hours of traveling we sat down to discuss his options and next steps. In the midst of his pain I asked him, “How do you know its bad?” He looked at me like I was insane. We went to work securing the correct visa online. It took six hours. He was told he would need to visit a company that would take his fingerprints and photograph and he would have his new and correct visa in 7-10 business days.

Three days later he received a call from a First Division Team in Ireland. An offer for five times what the English Team was going to pay him! He leaves for Limmerick, Ireland on Tuesday.

When one door closes, another opens up. Every dark cloud has a silver lining. How do you know its bad? Now he understands those are not simply clever phrases in the midst of adversity and setback. They are laws live Gravity.

The next time you receive some distressing news, remember the question, HOW DO YOU KNOW IT’S BAD? It might just land you in Ireland!

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