Snippets of my letter to my love on his senior day.
My love. I have sat down to write you this note too many times. I struggle even finding the words to start. Tomorrow is your senior day. Your last game on your home field and with just a few short games remaining your football career will end. I know the mixed emotions surrounding you right now, as I have just been through this a few months ago, but not only that. It is because we are one. I share your emotions. I know how you are feeling before you can even tell me. I share your pain and I share your joy. My heart is a part of yours, and always will be. Let’s do some reminiscing, shall we?
I am so thankful for our high school football seasons together. Seems like forever ago, but I will never forget it. I proudly stood in those stands cheering you on, not even realizing the impact football would have on our relationship. I will never forget the game day gifts I gave you and the joy I felt seeing how much you appreciated me. I knew you were something special. I will never forget you wearing your jersey to school on Friday and having the honor of wearing a t-shirt with your name on the back on game days. I will never forget you winking at me on the sidelines and catching my eye after a touchdown pass. I will never forget waiting for you after the games at the Buick. High school football memories are memories we both will cherish the rest of our lives. We will tell stories to our children about how Friday nights under the lights were perfect and our lives revolved around them.
Going out of high school we both were looking at empty pages, with no clue where life was going to take us. The recruiting process was a tough one, knowing our odds of going to the same school were so slim, but knowing how important it was that we both follow our dreams of playing college athletics. I remember when I decided to commit to Drake University and I remember when you committed to Truman. I will never forget the day you left for your first college football camp, and collapsing on my driveway watching you drive away. The uncertainty of what was ahead was brutal, but I am so thankful for those times. We have gotten the chance to take our own paths and find out who we are, but still remain one. I know God had his hand on this the whole time.
College football has been such a journey. I know how hard it has been Conrad Wilson. I am so glad I have been here through the whole thing, and I want you to know every ounce of pain you have felt I have felt too. BUT through all that adversity you spread the love of Jesus. You learned to forgive. You learned to love others when it was hard. You learned that your role on the team may not be to throw touchdowns, but something way bigger than that. You grew as a Godly man that year, through trial after trial.
This year- you have become yourself on that field once again. The Conrad I knew from high school. The quarterback with extreme confidence oozing out of him. The player that gets so pumped up when a teammate does something great he can’t even contain himself. The man who throws touchdowns and sprints down that field beating his chest. The guy who plays recklessly and with a fierce passion. You have played for Jesus. He restored you on that field and you have glorified him. You know it is not about playing time, or touchdowns, or recognition. You know these things do not define you, but what does is that whatever you are doing that you GLORIFY HIM. Conrad you have done that and I am extremely proud. I love that man you have become on that field and in life. God has used football to make you a better man.
Conrad Schottel, I have never met a better leader than you. Leadership is something God has gifted you with, and football has made you an even better leader. I have been blessed to watch you play football for 7 years and watch you lead so many brothers on and off the field and I am so proud of you. Seeing you lead on that field has given me confidence that you will be an amazing husband. I know you will lead our family so well. I know you will do whatever you need to do for our family. Football has been a way for you to show your leadership skills, and now with that ending I am so geeked (stole your word) for God to continuously show you other ways to lead. You are an amazing football player, but an even better man.
I will forever miss you winking at me on the sidelines, watching you pound your chest running down the field after a long touchdown pass, the hours of football talk, and being wrapped up in those sweaty hugs post game. I hope these are a part of my heaven, because they bring me so much joy. I might be (okay I am) crying right now thinking of football ending. It has been and will forever be a part of our relationship. I can’t wait to share these memories with our children. But even more than that I can’t wait for the joy that Heaven will bring with you (you get to play football without knee pain!).
I love you my big 14 and can’t wait to see you at the altar so soon.