• Deeper Than Just Gaming

    This may be way off the typical topic for a gaming community. I have no story of the great rounds we played together this summer. Nor can I tell you how great that new MMORPG that I bought and played was. Nope, this is about something that does not show on the surface of the typical gaming community... but then, this ain't the typical gaming community, now is it?

    I've been a regular to TTP for nearly two years, and have made some great friends. Sure, it all started as a quest for better team play that landed me on the Texas ...TeamPlayers... BF2 server, but never in my wildest dreams would I have thought that the "team spirit" that TTP was founded on would run so incredibly deep. As I became more entrenched in the mock battles of BF2 hosted by TTP, I found a group of people that would, in time, show me that I was not alone in what would be the worst season of my life.

    My story starts back in June of 2008. I got a call from my Dad that he wanted my son and I to stop down that weekend and give him a hand cleaning out the garage in anticipation of getting a new door installed. I guess it's not that unusual for a Dad to ask his kid for a hand, but my Dad was the kind of guy that would do everything and anything himself and avoid asking help from anybody. Unless you were on the payroll, he didn't want to bug you, he understood that we all have stuff to do.

    So that weekend came and my younger son and I went over to his house. When we walked in, I realized that he really did need our help. He was sick with the flu (or so I thought) like I had never seen. We spent the day doing his bidding as he barked his orders from the couch, trying to ensure that we were doing the task just right. He ended the day throwing my son a few bucks for the hard work, and a heartfelt thanks and "I love you" for the both of us.

    Jump to the 11th of June. My Mom called that evening to tell me that she was taking my Dad to the hospital. I breathed a sigh of relief. For the previous week I had been urging her to take him, but he was old school, Dad rules the roost, it's his way or no way. He had finally conceded that it was time to go to the hospital.

    Over the next four weeks or so, we watched my Dad's condition deteriorate, slowly, yet quick like lightning; it was surreal. The diagnosis of cancer came, then the prognosis, now it was getting painful. And that was just the start. On June 28th we got a call from my wife's sister, her Dad had unexpectedly passed away. This was getting out of control. My wife had been great support, listening to all my hopes and fears for the future, but now she was the one that needed the support. My wife, my kids and myself were all wearing thin as we became emotionally drained.

    And that is where TTP comes in. I needed some one to talk to, some one who would truly listen, and offer support and advice. I couldn't lean on my wife, who was now mourning the loss of her own father, and I wouldn't do it at work, that just wasn't an option. So I took a shot and posted on TTP the situation I was in, and how it was about to affect me. There was an instant outpouring of inspirational support and kindness. I had continued to post at every turn of my Dad's condition, and when i did, it was met with unwavering support. At one point I referred to myself as a drama queen, as I was really spilling my guts, but I was told to promptly can that attitude, that my posts were understood, and even appreciated. I kept posting until the very end when my Dad passed away, July 9th this year, and the gracious members of TTP continued their unwavering support.

    I can't thank everyone here at TTP enough for the kindness and support over the month that was the darkest in my life. There's something to be said for a group that was brought together by a simple game, but can and will selflessly relate on an issue as personal as the loss of a friend or family member. It proves beyond a shadow of doubt that the members of TTP are far more than hardcore, game loving, leet pwners of noob sauce! It just adds a whole new dimension to gaming when the guy in your squad not only is looking out for you in Mashtur City, but also in real life.

    Since then, there have been more losses and trying times; I have felt the weight of the world on my shoulders. But the bonds made here have helped give me the strength to bear that weight. Never underestimate those that carry the torch of teamplay and have its flame burning brightly in their hearts.

    Thanks TTP. You are the best.