Friday, November 6, 2009

A Letter To My Son

2009 Friday Night Lights- Final Review

B's last Varsity football game was last night. The team was granted a consolation game against a team from a distant league in the state. The previous day had been very difficult and emotional for me. It was hard to say goodbye and find peace in all the memories and lack thereof from this season. There were two things I decided I needed to do to find peace and closure with my emotions. First, I needed to write a letter to B telling him how proud I was of him. Then, I needed to thank his wide receiver coach for standing by him, and continuing to teach him and find value in him as a teammate, despite his injury.
This is the letter I wrote to my son:

Dear B-
Football is a great sport- a rough one too. I wanted football to teach you lessons about life perhaps not learned quite the same by any other avenue.
I wanted you to measure your strengths and your weaknesses. I wanted you to learn how to make your weaknesses strong. I wanted you to experience what it is like to push yourself physically and mentally harder than you thought you could go- and then push a little further. I wanted you to gain respect: for yourself, your teammates, and your coaches. I hoped you would form friendships that would continue beyond the helmets and pads. Above all else, I wanted you to gain a greater identity of who you are as a son of God. I prayed that you would place your faith and trust in the Lord and yield to His will for you.
Son- you have made your dad and I very proud. My hope for your senior football season was for you to learn the lessons from your opportunities and experiences that would help prepare you for the rest of your life. In fact, I have learned from you. I have watched you face the many difficulties of this season with valiant faith, optimism, and inspiring energy.
I have missed not seeing you shine on the field with receptions, returns, and tackles as I know you could. But my heart rejoices as I watched you shine in the face of such great adversity.
My son, it has been a pleasure to watch you this season. I am grateful for the path you have laid for your brother and sister to walk through. We are blessed to have you in our family.
Now and forever, I’ll always be your biggest fan! I love you!

I placed the letter in his seat of the old 4-Runner, content with my attempt. Later in the day, after dropping off the final batches of brownies to the football locker room, my paths crossed for the first time all season the wide receiver coach. I introduced myself. He smiled and thanked me for the brownies. Trying my best to keep my emotions in check, I attempted to communicate my intense gratitude for him. For over five minutes I tried to find enough words to convey my true appreciation. When I finished as tears began to wet my eyes, he solemnly said, "Wow. Thank you. That made the whole season worth it."
I concluded, "You've touched his life for the better during a very difficult time. I don't know what I or we would have done without you."
We quietly walked our separate ways. A few steps later he turned and thanked me again.
Now I am at peace, and have found closure.
Farewell football fans across the states- for now.