The Heart of a Mother

September 6th, 2008

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The original title of this post was going to be “The Heart of a Cougar.”

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And I was going to tell you all about my beautiful Alma mater.

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And how I’ve walked across this “W” on two different occasions to receive two diplomas.

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So when I went to the BYU vs. UW game today…..

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It should have been a no-brainer for me to sit with the UW Husky fans across the field and wear purple.

But I didn’t.

I wore navy blue.

And I sat next to the love of my life amidst a small sea of BYU Cougar fans.

You see, I met my husband when I was a freshman at BYU.

And after we got married, I transferred to the UW where I finished my bachelors and went on for my masters.

And while I love the UW and treasure the education I received there, BYU will always be the Alma mater of my heart.

Because it gave me My Love.

**

And originally my happy story was going to end there.

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With what a fun game it was.

And how fantastic it was to win by a single point with mere seconds on the clock.

But mid-way through the game, something happened that changed everything for me.

At the end of a play, one of the UW players flipped backwards and landed flat on his back.

And didn’t move.

A BYU player that was next to him immediately started pointing and calling attention to the injured player.

Within seconds, the young man was surrounded.

My eyes were glued to his legs.

But they never moved.

The entire stadium was silent and subdued.

All the UW players knelt down on one knee.

An ambulance drove onto the field and parked near the injured player.

“Oh, I hope he’s okay,” I said quietly to Charming who was sitting next to me.

“Me, too,” he murmured softly.

Then suddenly, on the opposite end of the field, fans started to yell.

“What’s going on?” Charming asked, turning to look at the yelling fans.

I looked with him, but couldn’t see any reason for the disturbance.

“I don’t know,” I said slowly, then turned back to watch the injured player.

He still wasn’t moving.

Suddenly Charming sat up and yelled, “Let her go!!

He was still watching the opposite end of the field where the fans were yelling louder by the minute.

“What’s going on?” I asked, my eyes searching the field.

And then I saw it.

A security guard was holding back a woman who was trying to rush the field.

A woman who was fighting as hard as she could to get free.

Yelling with panic and reaching out to the young man lying on the ground across the field.

My breath caught as I thought, It’s his wife!

By this time, even more fans were yelling to let her go and people on the field were running toward her.

And then I realized who she really was and my heart went cold.

It’s his mother.

Finally, the security man released her and the distraught woman began the long run across the field to her son.

And as she ran, I wanted to run with her.

To put my arms around her and say, “It’s okay. It’s okay.”

But nobody was there and she ran all alone.

And suddenly a picture came to my mind.

A picture of a cute little boy playing at home with his baby sitter.

And then I realized that someday, I could be that mother.

That mother who sees her son fall.

And without even stopping to get her jacket or her purse, runs as fast as she can and fights her way to him.

Who doesn’t stop until she reaches his side.

And stays by him as he’s placed on a stretcher.

Who has no thought for herself, the game that continues on or anyone around her.

And I realized what being a mother is all about.

It’s about giving birth to the greatest sorrows of your life.

Because they are your greatest joys.

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15 Comments

alycia | 9/6/2008 9:48 pm

Heidi, why do you always have to make me cry? You’re amazing! Thanks for sharing that story with me. It is so true.

Heidi | 9/6/2008 10:01 pm

Oh! Does it help to know I bawl the whole time I’m writing it?? And then again when I re-read it??… :)

 
 
Darcy D | 9/6/2008 10:40 pm

Tearing up here….

 
angelalois | 9/6/2008 10:41 pm

that moment was pretty amazing for all of us, when we realized it was his mother. it took four security guards to hold her back!

 
Wandering Nana-Linda | 9/6/2008 11:33 pm

I know I thought the same thing as I saw the guard holding her and told M that it was his mom. I was amazed that she was able to run the distance of the field she ran and not stop. I wanted people to stop talking and just to watch as you saw a man using his hands to calm her and let her know he was okay. Then a woman went up to her and put her arm around her and took her to the front seat of the ambulance. I kept waiting for them to tell us the player was okay. I watched the news to see if they would tell us about the young man but so far not a word. The Mr did talk to some UW players and they told him that the young man was doing better but that’s it. I can tell you that how you feel when your child gets hurt, struggles or is sick when they are little doesn’t leave or change when they become adults and have families of their own… it just adds more to the mix.
Oh, by the way… I’m the lady in RED.

Heidi | 9/6/2008 11:43 pm

We looked it up online when we got home and the reports said his neck/spine were not injured and he only had a concussion. We were so grateful and I can’t help praying for him and his dear mom.

LOL! I wasn’t going to mention our dear red U of U fans trying to sneak into the mix, but since you mentioned it, yes, it’s our wonderful Wandering Nana! :)

By the way, your popcorn balls were soooo good! We were raving about how they had the perfect consistency–not too dry, not too sticky, just awesome. Thank you! (We may just forgive the red jacket, blanket and U shirt…). :)

 
 
apple | 9/7/2008 8:42 am

I am not a mother yet, but sometimes you help me want to make the decision to be one.

 
Heidi | 9/7/2008 9:59 am

My favorite part was when the security guards finally let her go and EVERYONE started cheering and clapping for her as she sprinted across the field. I got chills. It was very moving. And… I heard the player is fine.

 
Jesse | 9/7/2008 3:50 pm

We too were relieved to learn that the player is doing just fine.

That campus is so beautiful. There were amazing shots of the place every time they’d go to commercial breaks.

I often think of the mothers of all those men as they go into collegiate battle. Football is such a crazy contact sport. I have occasionally said little prayers that Grant will never, ever want to play football…or rugby (which is as bad as football, only without pads)… or soccer … or competitive skiing… the list could go on, I guess. Depending on how much of Cori made it into his little genes I’m gonna be in for it. I’m glad the security detail let that brave mommy through to her boy.

 
Stacey | 9/7/2008 8:58 pm

It’s too bad we didn’t have time to chat with you a little at the game! Great pictures. I’m glad you were cheering for the right team.

Heidi | 9/7/2008 9:07 pm

Thanks, Stacey! We were sorry we didn’t catch you, too! I was very impressed with how well your son did, though. He seemed to enjoy the whole thing!

 
 
Melissa | 9/8/2008 3:15 pm

Wow, what a beautiful story, Heidi. I just love the way you write! I hadn’t heard that story yet. I’m so glad security finally let her through – and even more glad to hear that the player is okay! Bill always tells me that his mom was okay with watching him play football in high school. But she drew the line at wrestling. NO WAY was she going to watch some brute jump on her baby and pin him down! ;) My boys aren’t in sports yet…hopefully they’ll be more inclined towards sports that don’t involve so much contact…

 
Brett's wife | 9/8/2008 3:17 pm

We were so touched by that experience as well. As the mother ran across the field and spectators cheered, Brett turned to me and said, “Aren’t humans amazing?”.

 
Neighbor Katie ~;o) | 9/11/2008 3:21 pm

Wow! That was so beautiful and so sad at the same time! It is amazing how much we can love someone that even the mere thought of them being hurt or God forbid, taken from us makes us cherish and appreciate every single second we get with them. (Even when they are being stinkers! ~:o)

Miss you! We do have to get together soon! I drop Olivia off at school at 8:30am everyday and it’s just Joshua and I until I pick her up at 11:15. Maybe we can get together one of these mornings soon with you and Bubbers? Let me know if that works for you!

 
Kati | 9/14/2008 10:45 am

Your post brought back that same tingle I had at that moment during the game, when tears unexpectedly sprang to my eyes. Being a mother truly changes you.

 

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