It started out as a simple question, then turned into a burning desire and on October 30, 2010, it became reality.
While on vacation this past summer, Elisabeth asked for one thing for her birthday. It came as we walked from Kyle Field back to the parking garage to our van. “Daddy, can you please bring me down here for my birthday and let me watch A&M beat tech?”How could I say no? So with that, I started searching for tickets and just randomly, someone sent me a text. “Hey, you know of anyone who wants 2 tickets to the A&M – ttu game in October?” The answer was yes and the birthday present was secured.
As Elisabeth opened her present on her actual birthday in September, she couldn’t believe it. She was so excited but kind of bummed she had to wait over a month. As the time got closer, the anxiety was beginning to eat her up. I felt sorry for her because of the wait but I knew it would be worth the wait for her.
As we woke up on the cool, crisp last Friday morning of October, Elisabeth beat everyone dressed and was ready for her first Aggieland experience. The outfit she was to wear to the game on Saturday was the first thing packed. Maroon shorts with white strips and A&M on the side. A grey A&M shirt and of course, and A&M hat to finish it off. The only thing missing, according to her were A&M shoes, which she tried to get me to buy later.
As we got closer and closer, the questions started to fly out of her mouth. Everything from where is College Station to how many people will be there. Will there be any tech fans, and as she said, “I hope not.” Elisabeth was ready for anything but she had no idea how much there would be to do once we got there.
As the sun came up on our hotel room on Saturday morning, Elisabeth woke me up and said, “Daddy, it’s game time. Let’s go!” At 6:45 in the morning, she was ready for breakfast and more ready to get to the stadium.
As we arrived, the anxiety grew for both of us. Would there be a win in our future or just another game to wonder what happened? We put those questions out of our mind and made the jaunt from the parking garage to Kyle Field.
Her eyes were getting bigger and bigger as we neared the Fan Zone at Kyle Field and as we approached Elisabeth couldn’t help but grab my hand and say, “Daddy, I’m home!”
As we walked from booth to booth in the Fan Zone, Elisabeth would stop and want me to take her picture. We were just there a few months earlier but this time it was different. It was gameday and Elisabeth knew this time it was different. We walked and walked and went from store to store, tailgate to tailgate and ran into a few people in the meantime.
First we ran into NBA Hall of Famer, David Robinson. Elisabeth and Mr. Robinson exchanged a few words and as he came down to her level on his knee, he told Elisabeth that Christ will always love her. As he turned to me, he gave Elisabeth a hug and we got a picture of the two together. We stood in line to get autographs from Terrence Murphy and John David Crowe. Both of these Aggie legends lived up to all the stories about how great they are. Mr. Murphy requested a picture with the prettiest girl in Aggieland and Mr. Crowe asked if he could get Elisabeth’s phone number to pass along to his grandson so he could look her up when they are both in Aggieland in about 10 years.
With kickoff just around the corner, we decided on lunch and headed into the stadium to watch The Fightin’ Aggie Marching Band come into the stadium along with the Corp. It was a great scene and questions were flying out of Elisabeth’s mouth. As we talked more and more and the stadium began to fill, I tried my best to get her ready for the famous fly-over at Kyle Field. As the National Anthem ended, I told her to look behind us and here they came. Down low, fast and then loud, Elisabeth jumped into my arms and screamed, “What was that?” It was amazing to see and only at Kyle will you get that kind of experience.
Elisabeth sat through the first half of the game and as halftime approached, she headed to the bathroom so she wouldn’t miss the bands. As the Aggie band finished, E looked at me and said, “Daddy, everything is better in College Station, especially the band!”
As the clock ran down, we realized a win was coming to our Aggies. A win over ttu and a win for Elisabeth. A win for a Dad and his daughter to not only enjoy but to relish in. A game to remember for so many reasons but mainly that we were there together.
With the cannon going off in the background, the band playing, the yell leaders leading and the crowd swaying, Elisabeth and Dad had the time of our life. We went to watch football and in the ending, grew much closer. It was a time to get away together and learn a little more about each other. A time for her to look at me and say, “Daddy, let’s talk.” A time for me to look at her sleeping while I was driving and to begin crying over this precious gift. And a time to thank God for our weekend and our family!
I love you all!