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The National Pastime has returned to a little field in Rappahannock County.

Aug. 8 was Opening Day at Stuart Field for the Rappahannock-Culpeper Baseball League and the beginning of a dream being fulfilled in a 12-year-old’s heart. Little did I know that his dream would renew my hope and joy, just like baseball has done for so many over the decades.

My son James has always wanted to play baseball but logistically making that happen would take a miracle.

Five years ago I was diagnosed with ampullary cancer, and after surgery and treatments our family of 10 had almost forgotten about that time in life — until May 22, 2020. The cancer was back, this time in the lungs, and without treatment a 3-to-6 month lifespan. 

After the call, my eyes gazed out the window to see James and his younger brother on the swing set. They were only 7 and 3 the first time around with my cancer . . . this time they would understand more and need explanations and reassurance.

Most of all, how would this mother of eight continue to provide for this family that God had given her?

Throughout life, when our eyes and ears are attuned to the little things, we are able to notice answers to our deepest longings. Four days before baseball’s opening day on Stuart Field, my brother David, through the suggestion of Gary Leake, called to inform me about the Rappahannock-Culpeper Baseball League . . . right here in our own backyard!

Through the kind help of league secretary, Angela Kirby, within 48 hours James was outfitted for the Majors Red Sox and barely able to think of anything else than his first practice on a baseball team and his first game!

Everyone in the family has stepped up to the plate and has determined to embrace my situation with prayer, determination and patience. It is not easy, but through all the treatments and sleepless nights, there is love and there is baseball. 

For two hours that Saturday, our family sat in chairs in a grassy field watching the joy of baseball, cheering on James and his team and just for a period of time forgetting all the troubles of the world.

— Kathleen Rowzie and her family live in Amissville.


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