Swin Cash on Coping With the Other Side
An inspirational Cash Beyond Borders post.
By Swin Cash / @swincash
Well, I’ve been gone for a minute but I’m back now.
They say when life gives you lemons, make lemonade. I’ve decided that I don’t want any lemonade; I’d rather throw those dang lemons back at life! Y’all ever have those kinds of moments? When one thing after another keeps happening and you wonder when the heck it’s going to stop? For most of my January, and some of February, my life was exactly like that; it brought me heartache, fear, anger and most importantly growth.
One of the hardest things about playing basketball overseas is that when things go astray back home all you have are four walls, Skype, basketball, and God. You want to run and jump on a plane, fall into someone’s arms, feel a hug from a loved one, or hear a voice telling you it will be alright. See, people always talk about the money professional athletes make by going overseas but they are quick to forget the sacrifices that come with it. Yes, overseas compensation helps us provide a better life for our families and ourselves but it also brings isolation, limited social interaction, and (at times) a situation you could rarely prepare for.
A personal example of what I’m talking about occurred this past month. I came down with the flu and was forced to go to a local hospital in the town I play in. Let’s just say it gave me more of an appreciation for our hospitals and medical staff in the United States. Not that I didn’t appreciate them before, but y’all know there’s always one sassy nurse you get every visit. She has an attitude that has nothing to do with you but she finds a way to take it out on you. Over the last month I have been reminded of one thing for sure; never take things or people for granted.
Easier said than done right?
I last spoke to my Uncle Quick back in October during my welcome home party after we won the World Championship. Dressed from head to toe in his Steelers attire, he asked me how it felt to win it all again. I told Uncle Quick it’s like a blessing and that I was just really happy. He told me that was cool but next year I need to do it all over again. With a big smile, I told him, “of course.” Then, he made a special request that I get him one of my pictures with President Obama; he wanted to take it to work with him and brag about me, his niece. I busted out laughing.
“No problem,” I told my Uncle Quick. “I got you.”
Soon after our conversation I began traveling and decided to play in China. Two months later I got a call from my mother telling me my Uncle passed away. Just like that, there were no more pictures, no more laughs, no more screaming at the television telling me to shoot, no more telling Big Ben to get rid of the ball faster, and most importantly no final goodbyes.
My Uncle Quick had gone home.
I did what I knew would get me through a horrific tragedy and leaned on my family and faith and picked up the ball! See, for most athletes playing this game doesn’t start with the idea of getting paid. For some, it starts because our parents sign you up in a youth league. Some start out in their backyard with the hoop their parents installed when they are born. Mine started out on a crate with the bottom cut out in the Harrison Village Projects in McKeesport, PA. I’d get pushed around by my cousins, uncles and guys on the block but I fell in love with the game.
So, for me, when life throws me those lemons I step back on the court to a place I can always call home…
In loving memory of my Uncle Dwayne “Quick” Cash,
P.S. Appreciate the things you do have! Love Life xoxo