Keith taught me the value of perseverance.
Braving the freezing drizzle, Keith drove to Springfield for a weekend vacation with his wife, Peggy — MSU Bears basketball, Postmodern Jukebox concert, and a game of catch with me.
“As soon as Peggy told me what you were doing, I knew I had to get in on that!” Keith said.
The day will come when I will play catch wearing short sleeves. Today was not that day. I heard the drizzle clicking on my glasses as we tossed the ball and caught up on life over the past five years. Keith is now parenting his parents while working on his Master’s degree in communication and celebrating grandkids.
“None of them are named Keitharita yet, though.”
He is no longer doing the one thing that first connected us — recording, mixing, and mastering music. While living in KC, I worked with Keith on multiple CD projects. On the door to his studio was a poster, “The only talent is perseverance.” I took those words to heart.
On one project, Kaylea, my oldest daughter, was going to sing a portion of one of the songs. Her first couple of takes were not quite in tune though. She could hear that she wasn’t in tune and quickly grew upset and frustrated. She took a break and I pulled back up to the mic. After a couple hours, she tried again and nailed it.
“That was great,” Keith said. “One more time, sweetheart.”
Kaylea “one more timed” it another dozen or so times.
Keith’s saying, “One more time, sweetheart” has been a motto in my family for the last 10 years.
After five minutes of tossing the ball, my fingers were stinging with every catch and throw. People headed to the basketball game stared and pointed on their way into JQH Arena. Keith and I retreated to the van to keep talking and increase circulation to our fingers again.
“So, we moved a couple years ago. Jim Eisenreich bought our old place. He just got back from Royals Fantasy Camp. Maybe he’d be up for a game of catch? He knows quite a bit about not giving up, too,” Keith said.
“That would be awesome.”
Eisenreich’s story of battling Tourette Syndrome to play in the majors is an incredible testament to perseverance.
To play catch for another 320+ days will be putting Keith’s words to work. Or, as Babe Ruth said it, “You just can’t beat the person who never gives up.”