“Play for Me”
My finger tips are sweating and my heart is racing. To adequately put into words the emotions I felt, that were evoked with a conversation I had with MJ my junior year, I cannot. The most vivid and touching memory I have of Michael J was that conversation. I was on my way to Coach King’s U.S history class that morning when MJ stopped me in the hall. We talked about soccer and how the team was doing. The conversation was short but at the end of it MJ told me that he needed me to play my senior year.
I knew how much he loved the Central Cabarrus soccer team and at the time I thought it was odd that he said ( I) need you to play. That thought that MJ left me with was like a parasite in my brain. I kept replaying that conversation over and over in my head. Even to this day it is ever so clear. Many of the memories I had of MJ have naturally clouded over with time but this one is still as clear as the day it happened. After being left with the idea that MJ needed me to play my senior year I started sending the soccer coach messages. Whenever I would see him I would tell him I was in for next year. Without knowing the story, at the end of the year soccer gathering in 2006 the coach, in telling his story about me, said that my junior year he kept seeing more and more and hearing from me often until the senior tryouts.
I then realized that until the events that happened in September 2005, I had never fully understood the gravity of Michael J’s request. HE needed me to play. All year long as I played I knew that he was watching over me and the whole soccer team. Every game felt amazing and I will never forget the feelings of walking out onto the Central soccer field. MJ told me he needed me to play that year, and I did my best every day to answer his call. This is the first time that Mike and Bonnie have heard this story of mine, and that year I was selected as the first recipient of the Michael J Martin Scholarship Award at Central Cabarrus High School. MJ kept my team spirit high and gave me strength when the team needed to be picked up. As I sit here playing the memory over and over through my head like it was just yesterday, I cannot even begin to fathom how many lives MJ touched with his time here on Earth; and all the lives he will keep on touching from heaven. He touched my life and I am very blessed for that.