Yesterday didn’t go as I had planned. Instead, God had something different in mind. We were scheduled to attend Bryce’s last football banquet of his high school career. We were scheduled to attend a special mass for the graduating seniors. And while all that happened, we were missing a person. The stomach flu claimed my hubby as its first (and I am hoping its only) victim. Brian has the capability of shrugging off illnesses, so I knew it was beyond the point of walking it off, so to speak.
It ended up that Bryce and I attended the service. I was cool in my composure assured in my mind that I will not shed a tear, then the music started. Yep, during our reflection time prior to communion, they played a song about “memories” and this chick lost her shit. It wasn’t an ugly cry, but it was one of those that you begin and you’re trying to hide it. And I thought I had it together. After church we came back to pick up Bailey, check on the patient and then head to the banquet.
I was so sad that Brian wasn’t able to attend. Football has been something he and Bryce have shared as they both have been on the field doing their prospective jobs. He has spent four years watching his youngest blossom from a different vantage point than I did. But sitting at our table with friends whose son has been at Bryce’s side since freshman year eased the sorrow.
Toward the end of the banquet, the seniors, who were assigned a coach, presented a token of appreciation while sharing some memories. Bryce spoke from the heart. He reminisced about his plan of flying under the radar during high school and how the suggestion of being apart of the football team changed that scenario. He gave his mentor credit for building his self-confidence. And while he was speaking, tears streamed down my face. His transformation has been astounding.
The parting words from our head coach are always inspirational. This year he talked about talent versus character. That talent is more of a “look at me” while character is more of a “look at others”. The balance of having both and how that is what the coaches strive for when molding these young men. Truly more than football, but a continuing way of life.
So, there ends our four years of football. Oh, what a ride it has been. And while our scenery will change, the colors of support that we will wear will be different, and Bryce will experience something brand new, I will always have tremendous gratitude for the men that took my son under their wing, mentored him, and provided an experience that will remain with him for the rest of his life.