Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Believe in Blue!

The Superbowl is quickly approaching, but it can't come fast enough. I absolutely cannot wait. And my mom called to tell me I can expect a package in the mail full of Colts gear to flaunt around Charlotte, which should arrive today. I just love that my mother still takes the time to send care packages to me. I know I'm 26 years old, but there's just something about getting a package in the mail from your parents that makes you feel like a kid again.

I can't believe it's been 3 years since we last won the Superbowl. It feels like just yesterday. I was talking about it on the phone with my mom the other day and the fond memories we have leading up to that game and after our victory. I feel so thankful to have witnessed a piece of Indianapolis history. I had moved home to Indiana right after college, and although I wasn't too happy about it at the time, in retrospect, it was one of the best things that could have happened to me. You know the saying "Some of God's greatest gifts are unanswered prayers"? I believe that 110%. I was so disappointed I didn't have a full-time job lined up right after college and had to move home with my parents. I was also embarrassed that I spent four years at college only to be living with my parents again. It was a blessing in disguise. In the 6 months that I lived at home, my world as I knew it would be turned upside down. I went through a very difficult breakup with someone I thought I would eventually move across the country to be with. So, there went my life plan. Literally one day after the breakup, my father was diagnosed with colon cancer. He had absolutely no symptoms, but on a whim requested a colonoscopy and they discovered cancer. He immediately began chemotherapy and radiation treatment. So much happened at once that I literally just fell to the ground one day crying and couldn't pull myself up. A future that I had been planning with someone had disappeared, and I was all of a sudden faced with my father's mortality. You always view your parents as invincible, and to see them as a human being, sick, struggling, weak, at at times, in tears, is absolutely devastating. I feel like I am a pretty strong person emotionally, but I was broken. I don't think I ever even cried about it until one day after my dad was at the kitchen table eating breakfast, he looked up at me, worry in his eyes, and simply said, "I'm scared. I never thought I would be facing cancer". I ran upstairs and broke down. My dad is tough and is an incredible athlete, and to see him so weak and was extremely difficult. Looking back, I know I was depressed. I had trouble eating, sleeping, and I guess all and all was just in a very dark place. One I hope I never go back to. Honestly, watching the Colts was such a simple break from all of my emotions, it was one of the few things that I found myself looking forward to. The unrelenting faith the entire city had in the Colts was inspiring. I would sit with my parents and cheer them on, and it really brought us together.

The day of the Superbowl I decided I would spend it with my parents at our local country club. My dad was in the middle of his treatment so he was not feeling the greatest, and I just knew I really wanted to be with them. We got all decked out in blue, and as you can see in the photos, I even sported some hideous blue nail polish. Blue Shots!
The game seemed like a dream. Every touchdown we took these delicious blue shots (even though my dad wasn't supposed to be drinking). The country club was the perfect atmosphere- there was a great crowd, gourmet food, and shots served at every touchdown. As the clock ticked down to the end, the joy in the crowd was indescribable. The cheering could be heard out from the streets. There were fireworks and cars honking their horns the whole drive home. The pride felt in Indianapolis was something I had never experienced before, and it made me so grateful to actually be living in the city to witness it. They couldn't even keep Colts hats on the shelves. The city was BLUE. And it was awesome!

I guess what I'm trying to say is the Colts helped me climb out of a deep dark hole I was in, and see the light again. I think you have to go through times like that in your life because it is then you learn the most about yourself. When it is just you, your fears and your sadness, you really learn what makes you tick, what you want out of life, and just how much inner strength you really have. And if God had answered my prayers, I would have been across the country at a time that looking back, is a time I needed to be home. In those 6 months, I was able to get to know my parents as an adult, not as a child breaking all the rules, I was able to be with my father through his struggle with cancer, and I was able to be in Indianapolis at a time that is probably one of the most exciting times in the cities' history. I am so much closer with my parents because of that time spent at home. If I would have moved away, our relationship would probably be very different than it is today. To me, that Superbowl was not just a game; it was much, much more than that. And I am happy to say as this game approaches, I am in a much better place in my life, and no longer have that dark veil over my eyes. And, my father is now nearly 3 years free of cancer, and is now ranked number one in the state for 50 and over tennis. It's amazing how much your life can do a 180 in 3 short years.

Mom and I after the game. Notice the great Tony Dungy
in the background :)

Here's to the Colts bringing home ANOTHER Superbowl to Indianapolis. Let's go Horse!

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