Tears flow down

About an hour before our first game at AJVC, I received news that my 90-year-old paternal grandmother had passed away peacefully in her sleep. She lived in Paris and we weren’t close, but some of her last words had a profound effect on me as I coached throughout the week. “Tears flow down, not up” – it was an old Vietnamese proverb, and it basically means that the full extent of a parent’s love for their children goes unreciprocated, but in turn their children pass on their unreciprocated love to their children. She related this to how she came to accept the distant relationship she had with my father over the 30 years we moved to Australia (To Dad’s credit, he spent the last 6 months turning this around by making an effort to regularly phone his parents each week). In any case, i could definitely draw similarities to what it’s like being a volunteer coach. You put in a lot of work, and inevitably lose touch as players grow up and move on. But there’s comfort knowing that they’re out there somewhere making positive contributions to other people’s lives.

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