It was my honor to pen this for the Coaches/Seniors vs. Cancer All Star Game Program held May 24th at Historic Bowman Field.
Loyalsock Manager Jeremy Eck goes about his business like it is just another game, another season, another chapter in his baseball life. But it is not.
His mom, Brenda, has been battling cancer for the past three years. Against slim odds, she won the first round against the dreaded disease.
She is in her early 50s and has five grandchildren all under five. She is a beloved wife, mother, grandmother and member of the community.
She loves baseball and has been a driving force in Jeremy’s life since he first picked up a bat.
She has been present at all his games since Jeremy was in t-ball to when he led his Lancers to the state title last season.
Where this season has been different is Brenda has not been present at the games. Her familiar spot down the third base line, the center of activity for her grandkids, has been vacant this year. I usually sat nearby and looked forward to seeing the Eck family. Their support of the team, positive family energy and their perseverance are part of Loyalsock baseball.
The cancer returned for another go round and she was given a week to live, but with the toughness of Ty Cobb and the passion and hustle to live like Pete Rose, she has fought and continues to fight. Over two months have passed.
Every day she answers the call like Ripken and Gerhig. For the love of her family, for the love of life, for the love of baseball and all that is good in the world.
She continues to fight as I pen this article.
My thoughts and prayers are with her and the Eck family. My only wish is for her to return to that spot in the bleachers down 3rd. If that’s not meant to be, I’m sure God is saving that spot for Brenda in heaven – to be with his baseball family.
Brenda continued to fight to make sure Jeremy and his Lancers brought home another State Title. In the comfort of their home, husband Steve and Brenda listened to the game on the radio. After the last out was recorded Steve whispered in Brenda’s ear, “They did it. Jeremy is on his way home, they won.” A single tear rolled down her cheek. Jeremy returned to Williamsport and shared a whispered moment with his mom. Later that evening she went home to that special spot in the bleachers that the Lord had prepared.