This week I revised my Bucket List. Move over Taj Majal. You are one of the seven architectural wonders of the world, but you have now been replaced by the grandeur of Cowboys Stadium, deep in the heart of Texas.
To think there is a country (oh, wait…Texas is a state) that hosts such a magnificent structure dedicated to excellence in architecture, art, football and my beloved Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders leaves me in awe. Cowboys Stadium. It is the mother ship of all stadiums, and a virtual tour on Sunday morning left me in wide-eyed wonder. (Hey, don’t worry about my eternal soul. I caught Joel Olsteen at eleven p.m. last night) .
I may have grown to love football at an early age had I realized this level of five-star football was achievable. My childhood memories of the game are sitting on the 20 yard line at Lincoln’s Memorial Stadium with my grandfather and my little box of cracker jacks that he always bought me on the way in. While the moment sounds very Norman Rockwell-ish, you aren’t feeling the icy Nebraska wind howling through the stadium cave. My hands were normally too frightfully cold to dig in my Cracker Jack box for the free prize. No wonder I don’t like football. Warm is good. Cold is bad.
I am also sort of prissy when it comes to cleanliness. Even at the age of seven I wasn’t a fan of walking to my stadium seat through mounds of discarded pop cups, and greasy paper containers that housed uneaten nachos. *eww!* In addition, I made a point to drink very little water pre-game, as the idea of using a dirty concrete bathroom was paralyzing to me. How can a girl enjoy a game when she is dominated by the fear of “What if I wet my pants?” (I read the bathrooms at Cowboys Stadium are clean and really quite roomy!)
In my defense, my compulsive cleanliness was an asset as my daughter struggled for her life in chemo and radiation. With white counts sometimes hovering right above zero, her life literally depended on me keepin’ it clean. If we dared to venture out into the real world, I was always the one turning on bathroom faucets and opening all doors. I still have moments in public restrooms where I feel like screaming “can you please wash your hands?”
My bathroom phobias may not qualify me as the most emotionally stable human being. However, I am qualified to make an architectural and art judgement on Cowboys Stadium. My dad is a successful architect and my degree is a Bachelor of Fine Arts is drawing, with almost a minor in art history. Yet even though I’m trained to see excellence in design, my dad taught me that life is not about buildings but about people who are at their heart and soul.
Two of the people at the very pulse of Cowboys Stadium are Choreographer Judy Trammell and Director Kelli Finglass of the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders. To my utter surprise, they posted to my blog. If you google “Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders – Making the Team” approx. 180,000 posts come up. How did my blog hit the desk of Ms. Trammell who forwarded it on to Ms. Finglass? I’m the woman whose world turned upside-down in July of 2004 when I got the call to bring Megan back to the hospital because they found a plum sized-tumor. Their post reminded me that in an instant, my world can change for the better. My favorite quote from the movie Under the Tuscan Sun is ‘unthinkably good things can happen, even late in the game. It’s such a surprise!” It’s late in the game for me, but last week my world changed for the better as hope for an amazing life poured in. My imaginary friends of the DCC became two real life moms coming along side of me on the journey.
My Omaha friends, who have always been cheering me from the sidelines, filled last week with hilarious laughter. Upon reading Kelli’s post about sending me a box from the DCC, my friend Shun Lee commented “do you think there is a cheerleader-in-the-box?” My son Ryan, a football fanatic, asked me in giddy excitement, “did you tell them you have a handsome and eligible son?”
I am joining LifeTime fitness next week, and fulfilling my promise to Megan (and to myself) to take care of the one body I’ve been given. The day I walk into Cowboys Stadium I want my very stride to say, “Game on.” And to make sure that I cheer for the Cowboys at just the right moment, I’m ordering “Football for Dummies” from Amazon.com.
It will be a journey for this Nebraska Cornhusker (we wear hats that look like corn cobs) to discover what a whole world loves about football. I know that road to discovery began last week when two moms, deep in the heart of Texas, touched the soul of one grieving mom.
Big Hope…Texas style.