Texas – After leaving the White Sands National Monument I wanted to make good time and try and get to Dallas. This was a good plan as I soon realized Texas is extremely flat and outside of the major cities of Dallas, Houston, Austin there isn’t too much to see. Dallas stadium is Arlington and was happy to see it was rather open and you had the ability to park and walk around the stadium. I was never a huge football fan let alone a cowboy fan but we all know things change and after last season it’s hard to miss a game. From the outside the stadium is very impressive and I debated going in on a VIP tour but I decided that when I go in I’ll be going in to watch a game. My emotions got the best of me as soon as I arrived and just couldn’t help to think of my mom, she was such a huge fan and was the reason I was there. As I walked around the stadium thinking of her I was hoping to find my mother’s paver that was donated by the school but I soon learned that it would not be placed until the fall. I was disappointed but happy because I knew I would be back this season to catch my first game. The paver that was donated was such a special gift and a perfect one, I can’t wait to see my mom’s name outside the stadium.
I’ll never forget the day I came home from work and I sat next to her as I did everyday asking her how she was feeling and seeing if she wanted to do some exercises. Unfortunately at that point not much would make her smile like the mom I knew. Although that night as we flipped through the channels we came across ESPN with breaking news that the cowboys had finally fired the coach. Now at the time they were having a terrible season but man she lit up like a Christmas tree after seeing the news and the confirmed press conference. My brother Kevin called and said something like all we have to do is win the next however many games to make the playoffs which gave her the biggest smile on her face and even got a chuckle out of it. She actually was so happy with my brother’s prediction that she made me call him back to hear him say it again and then she made me call my other brother as well to tell him the good news. Through the struggle and the battle with that monster she still found a reason to not just smile but be so happy and that was because of her beloved Dallas Cowboys. I never realized why she was so obsessed with the cowboys growing up and how she even became a fan to begin with. I’ll just always remember her sitting on the couch every Sunday with her glass of wine often covering her ears or going on the stairs as she couldn’t bring herself to watch the next play. Not to mention she also felt she jinxed them if she cooked chicken on game day which is a rule that I now follow after a few “chicken losses” last season. With the years of Aikmen, Irving and Smith she had a lot to celebrate and I just wish at the time I could have been more of a fan rather than routing against them. Although we can’t watch any games together she certainly made me into the cowboy fan I am today and will hopefully be able to celebrate a championship again. I think about her a lot and sometimes it doesn’t even feel like she is really gone, even now as I’m writing this I know she is but it is still hard to grasp at times and it just leaves me with such mixed emotions. I didn’t think I was going to get this deep into this and have done my best to not get too emotional as I’m writing this but that’s not easy but writing helps. I’ll just give it a laugh and smile thinking about how happy it would have made her to see me at cowboy’s stadium and making me the fan I am today. I’ll have to finish the rest of the blog later and go enjoy the beach which was another thing she loved doing. I decided to also make a stop in Pensacola, Florida to visit my mother’s friends Buddy and Eileen and honestly I don’t really know anything about them just that they went to grade school together. I do know how important it was to her to visit them as it was the second thing she mentioned after waking up from surgery. She had such strong mind to beat it and drag my father down to Florida to see them, she kept saying were going to visit Buddy and Eileen right, were going to Florida?. That will probably be a bit harder than the visit to the stadium but I will try and be strong and pull strength from her as I continue to do. How about them Cowboys - Can’t wait for the season to start!!
I’ll update you on the rest of the trip across Texas and a bit of the south but for now I’m going to maybe meditate/exercise and hit the beach….