Last chances

They’re twins; Madeleine and Wheeler.  They are marching band members. They’re high school Seniors. And each of them had a special part in this particular game night.

It started with a back-and-forth conversation with Maddie on her Facebook wall about how many games were left, which games were at home and Nutcracker rehearsal interference. Already nearing the end of September, I knew our available weekends would dwindle quickly. This trip had to be one that would work for multiple schedules including mine, Glory’s, the football season’s, and the Lovetts.

For some reason, I felt an urgency. If not soon, the year could slip by. If not soon, the football season WOULD slip by. Fall would swing into Christmas about the time spring would burst forth, and we would stand wondering where the year went. I really, truly wanted to see these two march together … as Seniors. Sometimes, the view deceives us into thinking there will be other opportunities … but we never really know when the last chance will come.

A Tuesday Facebook conversation turned into a Thursday confirmation with Della, behind the scenes. Glory absolutely loves a surprise so we would just s.h.o.w u.p at the field. Friday, I found myself wrestling to free my youngest from the grips of her school so we could leave for this trip. I’m not one to pull her out of school for the drop of a hat. Yes, I knew this would be considered an unexcused absence. We have five of those per year. THIS was worth the loss of less than three hours of school. We had to leave town early to get to south Georgia in time for this game since it’s around a five-hour drive. Leaving no later than one was a must.

We pulled into a parking lot that was already filling at 6:15 and quickly made our way to the band room to hug and yell *S.U.R.P.R.I.S.E!!* It was a wonderful thing!

We watched them march and play. They give 110%.
The pride in the job they do well
beams from the field overpowering the intensity of the field lights.

Madeleine had a duet in this particular game.  At one point, she and another band member marched center field and blew us away with notes. And after their duet, Madeleine THREW off her band hat and whipped her long locks round and round so that EVERY.BODY in the stands KNEW that she was a girl. She did a great job and she knew it! She.was.glowing. She was stunning!!  She is full of life, smart, beautiful. She blesses me!

Della found out on Thursday that Wheeler would be honored on the field just before the game with an earned scholarship.

Advanced Placement classes are high level classes that high school students have to be invited/eligible to take. After the class is completed, the student must pass an additional AP test to receive college credit for the high school class. Just because you pass the class on the high school level doesn’t mean you automatically earn college credit for it. You HAVE to pass the AP test, as well.  Many students aren’t able to pass that test. Any student who passes 3 or more AP tests receives the AP Scholarship Award of $3,000. To earn the AP Scholarship Award is quite an honor. While a handful of students were honored from this year and last, Wheeler was one of five current students lauded as an AP Scholar on the field Friday night.

Wheeler is not necessarily a demonstrative fellow. None-the-less, as he made his way to receive his award, he quietly announced to the principal, “I’m going to hug you.” When he reached Mr. McCurry, he threw his arms around the principal’s body and squeezed a huge bear hug. It was an awesome thing to watch … the admiration of a student towards a school administrator.

The point of our trip to south Georgia was to watch these two awesome kids
do what they do.
We wanted to see … to cheer and support them.

We celebrated birthdays, rode horses and fellowshipped
but the intentional p.u.r.p.o.s.e of our trip
was to be at that football game.

Look at the photo below and let me draw your eye to Wheeler. Follow the 50 yard line toward the middle of the field and you’ll see him nearest the bass drum line. He’s wearing the white plume, amongst all the red plumed hats. He wears the white plume because he is the Band Captain, second only in line to the Drum Major. He is also the head of the Percussion group. He’s pretty stinkin’ amazing.

This last week, while filming a quick skit as part of a video scavenger hunt,
Wheeler faked a fall
and he broke his wrist.
His arm is in a cast that goes to the tip of his thumb.
Unfortunately, he won’t play a drum again
this football season.

We were in Cairo, Georgia
at the Cairo Syrupmakers biggest rival’s game
on the last night that Wheeler played as a Senior …
on the last night that the twins graced their high school football field …. together.

To say that I am grateful for the feeling of “immediacy” that the Lord put upon my heart …..
the “we can’t let this slip by” feeling ….
the “this is too important to wait” emotion …
is an understatement.

In a world where urgency is common,
we lose our sense of what is important …
because it “all” looks and feels important.
But, people are important.

It was important for us to be at that football game on that Friday in September
and I’m thankful that the sense of urgency was pressed upon me firmly ….
because little did we know,
it was truly our last chance.


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