I believe being on the team, in the band or part of the club is important in school – especially in high school. Yesterday I saw another reason our kids’ involvement can be vital.
Through football and wrestling, Zach has come to know Landon pretty well. Landon lost his dad to cancer last Monday. I cannot imagine. The grief my son felt on behalf of his friend was apparent. He immediately did what he could to let Landon know he was there for him.
Yesterday was the funeral. It was something to see so many students sitting as a group in the front of the church. The support these kids showed was a sign of community, care, friendship and love. On one side of the church, the grief of the family penetrated the entire room. On the other side of the church the quiet support of the kids made a statement no one could miss. We are here for you.
One of the football coaches spoke about the first time he met the father, Tim. Tim had introduced himself and when the coach mentioned what a hard worker Landon was, Tim asked if the coaches would also help him watch his grades. Instant community, a village mentality, let’s help each other, all of this was there. A support team created for the family as well as the son.
The coach also spoke about the night the father took him aside after a game and told him about the cancer. He and his wife were going to tell their three kids that evening and wanted the coaches to know. The father was asking the coach to look out for his son, he was in for some rough times in the next days. At one point he also told the coach, I may not be around for Landon’s senior year, watch out for him for me.
Because the son was a part of a team, the father had a team to tap and the assurance that someone had his back.
Being a part of the team, band or club is important, it gives our kids a place to belong and connect. It creates accountability, character, discipline and more. It also creates a circle, which can close in tight when needed. It grants influence and assistance to other adults who can be there when we cannot.
Rest in peace Tim Hughes. The team has stepped up to the line.