Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Illinois v. Western

I find myself continually struggling with my emotions and my thoughts. I can be distracted for a while -- especially with sleep. It seems like for a few minutes I can forget about the fight dad is enduring and just rest. I told Rod on Saturday that there is no better feeling than my head to a pillow and that is so true!

Rod and I attended the Illinois v. Western football game at the University of Illinois in Champaign on Saturday. Often, he and his dad will attend the Illini football games together. For this game, his dad is on an Alaskan cruise with his mom. Knowing how important it was to him to attend this game, I volunteered to go along.

Western Illinois was the first college Rod attended. He met a lifelong friend there who impressed upon him the importance of having a relationship with Jesus. Macomb, Illinois is where Rod’s life changed for the better. After two years, Rod transferred to the University of Illinois. The U of I was where he had first applied and where there is some family loyalty.

To say Rod was thrilled to attend this football game is an understatement. We sat down in a section surrounded by orange. One man turned to us with a look of disappointment. Trying to evade the question, I pointed to Rod’s purple Western, Illinois t-shirt and his University of Illinois baseball cap explaining, “he’s confused”.

I had no idea who to cheer for. Rod has taught me in our 11 years of marriage to root for the Illini but he just clapped for every play on the field. The Illini won 21-0. Rod would’ve liked the underdog to win but was content with a win for his Illini team.

As we sat and watched the game, there was an older couple sitting in their bleacher seats two rows in front of us. The woman had her arm draped behind her husband’s back and just rubbed his love handles (do they call them that with a man?) with her fingers. I think she did this for the entire second half! Pointing it out to my husband, I thought about the future. I pray that Rod and I have a sincere, deep and lasting love that would put us at a football game enjoying one another’s presence when we are old and gray. He’s my best friend and I am so grateful for the love God has given us.

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