Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Lake Travis Football 2016 Texas State 6A Champions On and Off the Field

We have come to the end of the 2016 football season in Texas with Lake Travis winning the 6A state championship!  Recently there has been much press about the wonderful nationally ranked Lake Travis Football team and the individual stars on the team.  I wanted to write to tell you a little about these champions off the field.

The summary of this post comes down to two topics about how 1) Lake Travis Football helped charge Hayden's Spirit and 2) how charity from a football team was delivered through kindness, tenderness, tolerance and goodwill.

We don't know how individual members of the football team behave at school, home or socially with their peers.  What we have seen is how they (the team, coaches, and administrators) collectively and individually have interacted and shown charity to our family and particularly, Hayden.  He knows them individually as:  the one who handed me candy on the parade float, the one who held hands with me at the coin toss, the one who carried me on the field, the one that handed me the trophy, the boys that cheered for me...and so on.

Before Hayden was born, based on his many diagnosis, we were given a bleak outlook regarding his quality of life due to the many medical challenges he would encounter.  While he has and will continue to face many more medical challenges that are at times overwhelming, we look to amplify each day with gratitude to seek and explore all the undiscovered opportunities life has to offer.

Being part of the local community non-profit, Cc4c, and the Lake Travis Football team didn't mean that he would have the same opportunity to cultivate his sports acumen nor any robust physical talents.  His body of accomplishments lie elsewhere such as in charisma, bravery, tenderness, determination and patience.

Surprisingly, from his fellowship with the team, his spirit was strengthened and that charge in spirit  elevated his attitude beyond the hurt and pain and to endure the medical trials he had at various times.

Hayden has delighted in every opportunity he has had to participate with the football team.  He has truly felt as though he was part of the team.  His ego at one point was a little bruised when someone mistakenly referred to him as "little buddy". He has felt from the beginning as though he was as big and strong as some of his "big buddy" giants on the field.  He just couldn't understand why they were always so loud:).  He loved watching them kick the football through the air.  He loved watching them run the ball down for a touchdown.  He loved seeing the ball fly and get caught just perfectly without being dropped.  He practices throwing weekly for bilateral control with physical therapy.  He loves to say, "down, set, hut!"  But most of all, we prayed every game that none of the players be injured and they remain safe.

All Hayden wanted from this team for Christmas was to watch them win State.  He made them a video the night before that the coach and others shared socially on Twitter.
Just 10 hours later when he woke Saturday morning he was in extreme pain and he hadn't slept well.  His swelling at his incision sites had returned.  We worried that since it was the weekend, he would have to go to the ER to get seen for another medical evaluation.   He had finished his antibiotics two weeks prior. They were needed again to hold off his infection.  Fortunately, his specialists communicated with us over the phone and sent the prescriptions to Dallas where we could pick them up just prior to the big game.  It took many people jumping through hoops to make the trip possible.

Once we arrived in Dallas, Hayden's little body wasn't feeling much better, but by the second dose of antiobiotics the swelling subsided and he said he felt better.
He told his doctor today, while wearing his state metal that he hasn't taken it off for the past 3 days & nights, that he liked having his picture taken with the cheerleaders.  No doubt one of his favorite perks.
Holding the microphone with Fox Sports Southwest

Hayden was invited to be carried out when they charged out on national TV with Fox Sports, but he wasn't up for it.  Instead at half time, he went into the tunnel and gave them all a hi-5 as they began their triumphant second half.
Please excuse the overzealous, obnoxious cheer mom in the background trying to be the voice for her son.
I teach Sunday school to the women of our church.  The last lesson that I thought made a strong impression on me about the correlation with our football team and their acts of charity to our Hayden. The entire lesson is on the link below and I will summarize a few of those thoughts.

Church lesson link
The lesson taught that the limelight of history and contemporary attention so often focuses on the one rather than on the many. Individuals are frequently singled out from their peers and elevated as heroes. However, the limelight shouldn't blind us as to the source of His strength of our blessings.

I do believe that every act of service is important in God’s eyes, no matter how unheralded or inconspicuous. It takes unknown numbers of unseen people to make possible our opportunities and happiness every day. As the scriptures state, they are “no less serviceable” than those whose lives are on the front pages of newspapers. However, many of these serviceable deeds are seen in the press with Hayden lately. To those of you who have shown us service and kindness and not been in the limelight, we thank you privately and equally.

King Benjamin declared: “Behold, I say unto you that because I said unto you that I had spent my days in your service, I do not desire to boast, for I have only been in the service of God. And behold, I tell you these things that ye may learn wisdom; that ye may learn that when ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God.” (Mosiah 2:16–17.)