You weren’t a pastor or a prophet, a doctor or a clinician, you weren’t in the spotlight and most didn’t even know how much you did
The number of lives you impacted, transformed, and uplifted are beyond measure. You were a man beyond compare.
Charles Robert Scott, Coach, I do not even know where to begin because I still find it so hard to believe that you are no longer here. No longer here. It doesn’t even sound right. Why? How? It feels like just yesterday I texted your phone. It seems like just yesterday I said hello. I could have sworn it was all just yesterday.
You see, you never coached me in any sports, unfortunately, as I am certain that I would have been a better player all round if you had; but instead, you coached me in an area that I didn’t even know I needed a coach, you coached me in life.
I was off in a corner either reading, watching or pacing (thinking) while you ran practice with the boys; and you took notice. You took notice of how interested I was in the games throughout (I didn’t get through many pages of my book during practices). You took notice of the side comments I made to the guys about areas they should look out for while playing (I couldn’t help myself, I love basketball). You took notice of the things I was doing even when I didn’t realize I was doing them (returning the balls, encouraging the players). You took notice of how lost I looked (I really was lost); so you decided to add me to the family. You gave me a job I didn’t even apply for – “Team manager” – especially when I didn’t even know what that meant. “What am I supposed to do?”, I asked, “The same things you have been doing up till now”, you said. You entrusted me with responsibilities I wasn’t sure I had the skills to accomplish on a large scale, and unbeknownst to me, you were preparing me for a future I did not know was to come shortly.
Meeting you as a fresh out of school 22-year-old, who was stuck in a crossroads of hanging on to her ‘youth’ as she knew it, and starting on the path of adulthood – which was uncertain to her, was the best thing that ever happened to me. This crossroads was quite complicated for me at the time as I also was struggling with reconnecting with my faith and understanding how to deal with relationships. Meeting you gave me a new perspective on life as I should live it. I was struggling with decisions on what to do and how to do it, and you modeled a profound life lesson for me. ‘Find what you are passionate about, what you truly believe in, and run after it with all that you have. Give it everything you can, then when all you can is done, give it what you have left.’
You helped me tap into my passion for organizing and coordinating. You will never know how much that gave me a sense of purpose. You will never know how much that gave me a sense of belonging. You will never know how much that encouraged me and motivated me to accept my strengths and my weaknesses. You will never know how that has shaped the woman I am today. I knew I would never be on any of your courts as a player, but I also knew that I didn’t need to feel like a stranger on any of your courts, in your home, or in your life.
Fast forward 4 years later to now, here we are, uttering words like “in loving memory”, “was” and “rest in peace”. It is all surreal to me and I still find it hard to believe. Coach Charles, Coach… I cannot believe it, but I know I must accept it. I, therefore, choose to smile in the knowledge and understanding that there are generations now, and ones yet to come who will be beneficiaries of the life you lived, and the legacy you left behind. A legacy I am grateful for each and every day. A legacy that guides me in every way. As a teacher, I model my teaching style after your coaching style which I was privileged enough to watch over and over again (always listening, seeing your players as individuals while building them as a family, and above all else, having fun). As a teacher, I model my approach to issues in the classroom based on how I watched you handle situations with your players both on and off the court (never yelling, always willing & ready to try it their way too). As a woman, I model my life after the man that you were as a husband, father, and friend. You embodied what 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 teaches us;
You were patient
You were kind
You never envied
You never boasted
You were not proud
You did not dishonor others
You were not self-seeking
You were not easily angered
You kept no records of wrong
You did not delight in evil
You rejoiced in the truth
You always protected
You always trusted
You always hoped
You always persevered
And above all else, for all those who knew you, your love was constant, it never failed.
Coach, thank you for being the man that you were. Thank you for caring so deeply and so widely about everyone you met. Thank you for taking an interest in building up even the kids you weren’t there to coach as much as you inspired the kids you were there to coach. Thank you for showing all of us what it means to love God, to love others, and to love ourselves. Thank you for showing us the importance of family and community. Though you only fathered 2 daughters biologically, many individuals today did not merely lose a coach, they also lost a father.
Mere words cannot describe the depth of my gratitude and the gratitude of the countless individuals you have transformed by your life. But, with the words left in my heart and on my lips, I just want to take the time to say this – You were ‘one of a kind’, Coach, and I am very honored to have had the privilege to know you.
There are those who come into your life to transform it by their words, their actions, and their deeds. YOU were such a one.
"The colour of skin, what does it matter? When climbing the rungs of heaven's ladder. But here on earth, it's all we see, The people's choice is me, me, me. I don't blame the Lord for being upset, But I swear to Him, I'll toil and sweat. I hope to leave this world and join the Lord in peace, While my own children help the hatred cease." - Charles R. Scott.
“If we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord. So then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord’s”. – Romans 14:8
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