The Gift of Soccer

Back in 2005, Dave, Sierra and I were driving by Kalama Park in Kihei, Maui where little kids were playing soccer.

“I want to play soccer.” Sierra announced.

Dave and I had played quite a few other sports, but we had never played soccer.  We had actually hoped Sierra would get involved in some of the sports we had played and enjoyed over the years.

“No, wouldn’t you rather play golf?” asked Dave.

“No, I want to play soccer, can I?” answered Sierra.

“I think you should play tennis. Tennis is fun.” I said.

Sierra repeated, “I want to play soccer”.

Dave and I figured that Sierra’s interest in soccer would pass and that one day she would see how much fun it is to play golf or tennis and learn to love one or the other…or maybe both! And there were also many other sports and activities that we thought would be fun for her.  However, I guess she’s like her mom….determined to do what she wants! LOL! I’m glad she never stopped asking to play soccer…turns out, it was meant to be….

I remember Dave always saying, “Life is precious”.  It’s kind of weird that he did, but he did. Although he was like Superman to me, and I think he believed it himself as well, I think he also knew that anything was possible and he always tried his best to live life to the fullest.

Life. You just never know what it’ll throw at you and when.

It was about a year later, on August 11, 2006, that a horrible car accident took Dave’s life and changed ours forever. It was a day I will never, ever forget! An insanely emotional, stressful day that seemed surreal. In the middle of dealing with the loss, Sierra and I received a gift.

I still think the timing was crazy. The day Sierra lost her dad, was the day she became a soccer player. We got a call from Coach Lonny’s wife, Laurie, to let us know that Sierra was on their soccer team.  Later on, we learned that the girls chose their team name, The Butterflies. What a perfect name!

Soccer was a gift to us then and continues to be. The sport became Sierra’s escape from the extreme grief she felt after losing her daddy. Although it wasn’t originally in the plan, I guess soccer was meant to be a part of our lives. Sierra still loves it and I am grateful that it helped her to heal and has brought her so much joy. I see how much she loves it and I’m proud to say that I’m a “Soccer Mom”!

I’m sure Dave is watching his little girl grow up and enjoys watching her play soccer just as much as she enjoys playing it. And this soccer story is not over yet…..

Sierra's 1st Soccer Team

Sierra's 1st Soccer Team: The Butterflies w/ (left to right) Khayanna, Maile, Haley, May, Sierra, and Melia