Reflecting On the Creator's Game
By Brett Bowker ISSAQUAH- It was a sobering and heartfelt memorial service for Tyler Lucas on Monday. It is difficult to sum into words the emotions seen on the faces of family, friends, teammates and all those who attended.
Perhaps it is a time for reflection on where we are as a lacrosse community and what can be taken away from such a tragic loss like this. During Tyler’s services Chaplain Dale Amundsen evoked the spirituality of lacrosse as “The Creator’s Game”. It is a game played for the creator’s pleasure and a way to honor him. Amundsen said the game of lacrosse was a metaphor for our lives, a game of ups downs and constantly flowing. However that game never ends for anyone. It is continuous for those who pass on and for those who are left with their memories.
Many of us may not have known Tyler, but we do know his experience and memories with the game of lacrosse. Mentioned several times at the memorial service was the indescribable bond lacrosse players share. Perhaps this bond is something glossed over too often. As players, coaches and fans we dawn the colors of our respective schools and clubs to battle with each other week in and week out. Although we often love to hate each other, we all share the same collective experiences, no matter the colors. Whether it is in the eastside of Issaquah, the islands of Bainbridge or Mercer, the south sound of Tacoma, inside the Comcast Arena or the campus of the UW, we all do love the same things about this game.
All of us can look back to that moment when our teammate scored that winning goal to get the big win, or that missed save that cost us that game. Or as a parent, the joy that comes with seeing your child running out on the field, enjoying their life in front you. Or as a coach, to watch the young players you mentor, rise above to show you the flash of their inner character. Or even as a fan, to cheer and jeer in the wonderful and electric atmosphere of the Friday night lights. It is that rush you get before you walk on the field that even your opponent share. It is the self-satisfaction of the fresh look of a new uniform on yourself before game day; or that split second when the ball leaves your stick and hits the net for your first goal. It always has to be a tragedy to bring a community together. Everyone knows what it is to lose a relative; we all empathize with a crying mother or the sadness in a father’s eyes. This reflection should remind all of us who are part of this truly special lacrosse community of Washington State, even though we wear different colors on game day; we are sharing the same life experiences with lacrosse. It truly is a beautiful game and all of us partaking of it is a gift from a higher place.
Tyler’s final resting place is on top of Hillside Cemetery in Issaquah, which overlooks the entire Eastside, Lake Washington, Seattle and beyond. It was satisfying to know that Tyler’s view will be the view of the Creator, watching over the new games of the upcoming 2011 season with enjoyment. Looking forward, as players we honor Tyler by suiting up everyday and playing hard. As coaches, we put together game plans, teach lessons and create memories for young players they will remember for the rest of their lives. As parents we do what we always do, love and dedicate our lives to our kids, because in the end our values are not so different from any other family in our community. All of Washington Lacrosse mourns the loss of Tyler, but as a community we will overcome, grow and continue playing the Creator’s game on and off the field.