Our trip to the Land

Our trip to the Land

Published: 12/30/2023

Just as we had almost given up, the hometown Cleveland Cavs came roaring back.

Down by 10 in the 4th quarter to the favored Milwaukee Bucks, my 7 year old was starting to get as frustrated as the rest of the home crowd. “They’re cheating!” He yelled.

The Cavs Arena

But, then things changed. The Rocket Mortgage Field House erupted as the Cavs started clicking and cut into the lead. With thousands of cheering fans and tons of momentum on their side, a storybook finish seemed like a foregone conclusion.

As the Cavs mounted their comeback, Isaac would announce the lead. “We’re only down 8….Now it’s only 7….We can come back!”

Rookie Craig Porter drilled an impossible 3 point step back jumper to cut the lead to 4. “The crowd goes wild” as they say.

My. Kid. Is. Losing. His. Mind. It’s one of those sports moments you dream of having when you find out you’re having a son.

The Cavs get the ball back. Less than 30 seconds to go. The good guys get a wide open 3 to cut the game to one point. The whole arena is on their feet as the ball nears the rim. Isaac and I are holding onto each other waiting for the next glorious moment…


He misses. Giannis grabs the rebound. The comeback falls short. The storybook finish to Isaac and Ian’s (and Megan’s!) first Cavs game wasn’t meant to be.


When things don’t go as planned.

It’s kind of a fitting end to 2023. It’s been a year of highs and lows for me and my family, of moments when everything seemed to align, followed by unexpected setbacks. Every time I thought things were starting to look up…


I won’t go into the specifics of the personal, health, family, professional, financial, home, parental, mental, and spiritual battles the last year has brought us. I’m sure the year brought you its fair share of curveballs as well.

The struggle is real, but so is the peace.

A funny thing happened after the game, though. Isaac still thought it was “Uh-mazing!” Meg gushed about the overall experience. I was thrilled to have gotten to share my love of the Cavs with my boys. Our team might not have won, but our experience was unbeatable.

2023 hasn’t unfolded as I would have chosen, but I’m ending the year with an unexpected sense of peace. I’m more optimistic and motivated than I’ve been in a long time. And I’ve learned along the way that it’s okay to enjoy life’s journey, despite the occasional bumps in the road.

The Cavs Game

On to the next…

The Cavs will fight another day. They play again on January 1st. They even get another crack at the Bucks in a couple of weeks.

Life moves on. If you’re lucky, you live to fight another day. I’ve learned this past year that it is up to me how I’m going to attack each day. For a long time, I’ve dwelt way too long on the past losses. I’ve ruined many of my days because I was upset about what happened yesterday.

But I’ve realized that from every loss, there’s something to learn, it’s an opportunity to grow. The setbacks are just part of the game - in basketball and in life. They even make the wins, when they come, all the more meaningful.

So, here’s to taking each day as it comes in 2024, celebrating the makes and learning from the misses. We might just find a little peace along the way.

©2024 Jimmy Lemon