“Whack!” The grounder rolled past the short stop and into the outfield.


 “Run, Abby, run!” Her team mates yelled, as Abby dropped the bat and ran toward first base. The eight-grade, teenager loved playing baseball, especially when lots of boys were around. She had her eye set on Bobby!


The outfielder grabbed the ball and threw it to first. Abby landed on first base a second before the first baseman caught the ball.  She was breathing hard but grinning from ear to ear while she waved at her Normandy Heights’ girl- friends. Abby was feeling lucky today.


The score was 7 to 3 with the boys ahead. The bases were loaded and Helga was up at bat. All the girls had their fingers, arms, and legs crossed. If Helga hit one of her famous home runs, the score would be tied.


Helga liked to intimidate the pitcher as she warmed up. The tom girl spit in her hands before she swung a few practice swings. Staring down the catcher was fun as she chewed and popped her Bazooka bubble gum. With her feet planted apart, she spread her arms and raised the bat over her right shoulder. She gave the wiry pitcher her famous look.


With one leg raised, the pitcher leaned back and released a powerful, breaking ball. Helga expected the nasty curve ball. She swung the bat with such force and precision it drove the ball in the air over the mound and into center field.


All eyes watched the ball except for the girls jumping and screaming on the sideline. With bases loaded the four girls ran base to base like crazy. After Abby reached the home base she turned around and saw Helga was almost home. As Helga reached home base Abby stepped in front of the umpire to hug her friend. She didn’t see the ball coming.


Abby never knew what hit her. The ball hit the side of her head in her temple. As she collapsed in to Helga’s arms, Helga eased her to the ground. Everyone gathered around in shock as they realized what had happened. Abby wasn’t moving and her pulse was weak. This wasn’t the time of cell phones so it took forever to find a phone. The Rescue Squad finally arrived and the paramedics busily checked Abby’s vitals and transferred her into the squad. The screaming ambulance carried Abby away to Fort Hamilton Hospital.


Gloom hung like a thick blanket over everyone as they walked home like stone faced, zombies. Nobody knew what to think or what to say. They were worried and concerned about the vivacious girl with the contagious smile. For the first time in weeks our garbage cans out back were not turned over by mischievous kids. A prayer chain was started while the community waited through the night for news. The next morning we learned Abby had made it through the night, but she was still in a coma. 


In the middle of the night, Abby woke up thirsty.  After she drank the cup of water on the side table she got up to go to the bathroom. The nurse down the hall heard a noise in her room and checked on her. She found Abby crumpled on the bathroom floor. They said she must have died from a blood clot.


Everyone was sad and heart-broken about Abby’s passing and for her family’s loss. Some of the kids felt responsible for Abby’s death because they played baseball with a hard ball instead of a softball … especially the pitcher felt badly. It wasn’t his fault or anybody’s fault. It was a freak accident.


 After the accident I noticed my brother was extra quiet. I didn’t know he had loaned his hard ball for the game. I heard my mother talking to him privately, telling him it wasn’t his fault that Abby died. I never told him I heard somebody say that Abby may not have died if they had used a softball. Others said if she had not gotten out of bed that night, she may have lived.

Why was Abby’s life cut short?

 We forget that we are living in a fallen world ever since Adam & Eve disobeyed God. Man sometimes makes mistakes and misjudges things. Accidents happen. People get hurt. Sickness and disease come. New problems surface everyday because man is a sinner. People will get physical and mental help from a doctor but what about their souls? They forget about getting the spiritual help they need… before something bad really happens.


Are you spiritually ready to face a catastrophe?