As many readers of this blog know, I retired as a Professor of Animal Science and Extension Swine Specialist from the University of Nebraska 11 years ago. We relocated to North Mankato, Mn in order to access the social services and life time care agencies in this community for our youngest daughter who was born with a major birth defect.
Since the move my family has been more than pleased with what the state of Minnesota and the community of North Mankato offer for Liz. She has blossomed into a happy 27 year old young lady who has a life of her own via the nearby group home she lives in and the sheltered workshop where she is employed.
Last evening I once again attended her weekly ‘Miracle League’ softball game. If you’re fortunate enough to live in a community with a full access ball field I encourage you to take the time to attend one of these games as you get to see all levels of disability enjoy America’s pastime.
The smiles on the participants faces as they cross home plate and hear their name called out by the fans makes you appreciate the fact that while the participants may have a myriad of health challenges, the simple game of ball as played on the Miracle League diamond allows them to be part of the bigger world of sports. I always leave Liz’s games with a smile on my face because the participants all leave with a smile too.
Life isn’t just about our careers and involvement in pork production – it’s about our involvement with our families and communities. Having a successful career involved in the great industry of pork production should only be a part of who we are. Making time for family and watching the next generation succeed is what it is really about.