Some believe in miracles and some believe in absolutely nothing at all, but I believe in guardian angels watching over us all. I was unable to be there for any of the games but through many Facebook posts of support and love, I was able to see the work of Brenda Gentry through her son Jordan and everyone else who believes in the angel watching over him and his team. This is a story about a team who hit, caught, laughed, cried and prayed together through thick, thin, and trying times, a team that still smiled and cried tears of JOY because they all felt the presence of what had held them together and kept them strong, they all shared a love for one woman, Brenda Gentry.
Jordan (Brenda’s son) found out at just 16-years-old, on the way home from basketball tryouts, that his mother had not one but two inoperable, cancerous brain tumors. At a young age he had to comprehend what stage 3 cancer even meant while Brenda had to start chemo the very next day. It was some of the most shocking news I’ve ever had to hear, as I am sure it was for many others as well.
Brenda fought hard for 14 long months, there were many times I got the call to say they weren’t sure if she would make it through the day or the night, but she always seemed to hold on.
It wasn’t until my spring break this past March that I got to spend time with her and my extended family (my grandparents raised Jordan and I together in the summer, along with my other cousins, I will never forget). Brenda was still concerned with how everyone else was doing up until her last day. It was amazing to see someone’s strength … she was the one in pain, but I was the one crying, not able to handle it. Brenda had a way of putting a smile on everyone’s face, making you feel loved and beautiful at all times. The first thing she said on my first visit that week was, “You are soo beautiful, I am glad you came.” I will never forget that day.
It wasn’t long after my visits that week that her life came to an end, but it is apparent that she still lives on. I got the call March 9th. My heart broke for her family and all of the friends left behind but I also knew she would keep touching our hearts from above. I knew that Jordan had inherited his mother’s strength and he would be sure to keep pushing to make his mom proud (even though she was already proud). I knew that he would hold not only his family together, but his team together.
Just 3 short months after Brenda’s passing, Jordan’s baseball team came home the STATE CHAMPIONS on June 9th, 2012. I don’t want to take away from the team’s talent, but I know there was (is) a strong lady up above keeping the world turning for a small town team in Greene County, VA.
– Jordan, I love you, and I know you can feel the presence of an angel on the mound, always remember … LOVE LIVES ON.
“She fought more than anybody I’ve ever known,” said Gentry, who was informed time and time again that his mom had little time to live. “My dad was always the big, tough guy. I always thought I was strong from my dad. Then I said, ‘Dad, I get my toughness from my mom. I thought it was from you.’ (TheDailyProgress)
*for those of you interested in more of the story, here is a link to a heart warming story written in our local paper.