Diana Sleep

Theta Strong - For Life

I’m an absolute baseball fanatic. I worked spring training for four years while in Tempe - the last two in paid internships with the Dodgers. Five days after graduation, I landed a job with the Memphis Redbirds, a Triple A franchise for the St. Louis Cardinals. That led to a full-time position with the Houston Astro’s Double A team, the Hooks, in Corpus Christi. My dream job had arrived! I’d heard about how friendly Texans were, and instantly bonded with our team, advertisers, and community.

My twin sister, Paige, flew in on Wednesday from Santa Barbara for a long-planned weekend. Some sisterly bonding - fun in the sun. We were scheduled to play a doubleheader vs. the Midland Rockhounds on Thursday, the day Harvey began moving inland. Management had experience dealing with hurricanes, so the games were moved to San Antonio for Friday. We made an anxious drive up Interstate 37, hoping that the city and my apartment would be standing when I returned.

My emotions ran from fear to futility. It’s difficult to prepare for weather events, and even harder to be logical and proactive when they strike. So that Friday afternoon, I prayed for the people in Corpus and the surrounding area. That’s when Carrie and I connected. We were close friends at ASU and after graduation she opted for grad school at the University of Texas. She was safe in Austin and insisted we ride out the hurricane with her. It was a generous gift of kindness. Wrapped in love. It came at one of those crucial moments of uncertainty and duress - when you don’t know what you’re going to do next, where you’ll go, or how you’ll get there.

We hunkered down and watched the news, hoping the damage would be minimal. We made pizza, explored Austin a bit, and kept sending good thoughts to the people of southern Texas.

You know the rest of the story.

My team finally played that doubleheader on Monday and won both games. We won the next three games as well. I returned to Corpus later in the week when management decided the town needed an emotional distraction - a boost - so we decided to play that weekend.

Houston and several South Texas communities will spend months - even years - getting back on their feet. It seems that so often these days, we see violence, vitriol, and hatred in our social media. Hurricane Harvey, tragic as it is, helped us to see there are millions of kind and loving people everywhere we turn. Boat rescues, volunteers, donations, gifts: so many wonderful people doing so much for others … often, strangers. People who don’t ask for anything in return. Because that’s what we do. We Texans and we Americans.

I know the time Carrie and I spent together was special. She reached out and offered home security and safety, something a lot of people in Texas have been doing without. It was a kind gesture and made me realize the value of being sisters and a special bond we share for life.

We talked and joked about old times at ASU and our dreams for the future, mostly about jobs, family, kids, adventure and travel. Maybe we all grow up a little when tragic things like hurricanes strike. I know I did. I also know more about Theta love and the unbreakable chain that binds all Thetas together. It makes you Theta strong. For life.