My Baby…she wrote me a letter… continued

Still bundled in my winter coat, I carefully grabbed the DCC envelope and pulled a dining room chair out just enough to plop myself on the corner.  No time to pull the chair out all the way.

After Kelli Finglass (DCC Director) e-mailed me requesting my home address, my hilarious friends had much speculation about what would be arriving.  Janet was certain that it was going to be a pair of DCC boots.  Since my BFF is not well-educated in all-things-DCC, I roared with laughter, explaining to her that you really don’t even TOUCH the boots until you are almost officially on the squad. Furthermore, I painted a fashion visual picture of me in my black wardrobe with a pair of snow-white boots.  Those boots were not made for walkin’ around Kitchen Toyland sales floor by a couple of middle-aged moms.  I know just the thought makes Kelli Finglass and Judy Trammell (DCC Choreographer) shudder.  Geniuses that we are, Janet and I finally concluded that the boots probably don’t come with orthopaedic insoles for old ladies.  Just a guess…

With freshly washed hands, I reached in to the mystery envelope and pulled out a stack of 4″ x 6″ glossy photos, one for each of the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders.  All were personally signed to me.  Like a 13-year old clutching my sacred stack of Monkees cards, I flipped through them like flash cards trying to make sure all were accounted for.  ‘Phew…there’s Cassie Trammell.”  I was worried for a moment since she was toward the bottom of the pile.  Some faces flashed back to moments shared with my daughter…and some faces flashed back to last season when I thought, “Wish you were here, Megan…you would love this season.”

In my excited frenzy, a photo flipped over on the table to show a lengthy hand-written note.  Quickly turning the stack over, I realized that not only had The Cheerleaders sent me their squad photos, but every young woman hand wrote a heart-felt message on the back.  I audibly gasped.

Maybe it’s because I’m in the stationery business…or maybe it’s because I’m a wanna-be-writer…but Megan and I loved receiving cards during her four-year battle with cancer.  Every note was saved in a Longaberger Basket, hand-woven by Megan at the 1996 Basket Bee in Dresden, Ohio.  A handmade basket filled with hand-written notes was Megan’s prized possession.  On more than one occasion Megan pulled out the basket and re-read every card.  Words were life and power to me and my girl.

In an e-mail saturated world, The Cheerleaders understand the power of a note.  As I began to read the first note my eyes filled with tears, and by the third card I had to stop as I could no longer see/read through the watery glaze (and my pop-bottle thick eye glasses).  The notes confirmed to me what I already knew about the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders.  They have a depth of character and tenacity of spirit that can be overlooked as the world just looks them over.  A few excerpts, listed below, speak for themselves.

Malia Morales writes,

...My mother and I used to curl up and watch all the “Making The Team” seasons as well before I finally decided to audition.  My sister was also a huge fan of the show before sadly passing away this New Year’s Eve of lung cancer.  I know the pain your family must be facing and I will pray that peace and healing awaits you..

Ally Traylor writes:

Words cannot even express how powerful yours and Megan’s story is–at the surface, it’s about the impact the Making the Team series had on you and your daughter–at its core, your story and your daughter’s life is a testament to the special bond between mother and daughter.  Megan’s strength, courage and spirit were clearly a reflection of an amazing woman and amazing mentor, supporter, friend, mother and personal cheerleader that Megan had in you.  My deepest sympathies for your loss.  Megan’s story has truly touched each of us and we carry her memory with us!

In a week where I so missed my girl, I believe Megan inspired her favorite cheerleaders to have the right words at the right time.

Jackie Bob writes:

You still have 35 daughters here at Valley Ranch.

From heaven’s gate, my baby…she wrote me a letter.

Category: The Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders - Making the TeamUncategorized



  1. Val – I love this – what a beautiful, touching post!! Thanks for sharing this. I know Megan is smiling down on you. I love you!!!

  2. Sara, You are my 36th daughter…where would I be today if you had not stayed with me the year after Megan died?

    Thank you for also educating me in all things Texas. Now I know why Sur La Table has a cookie cutter in our store for Texas, but not for Nebraska.

    Ya’ll love your country!

  3. I’m teary-eyed… what a wonderful surprise for you Val. Such sweet, heartfelt notes, too – and I love the part about having 35 daughters in Valley Ranch… don’t forget about the one you have in Austin, too! 🙂 So does this mean you’ll be coming to Texas soon?!?
    PS, I second the coke bottle glasses comment by Jennifer… you’ve got bling on those glasses… no coke bottles there! love ya! -S

  4. Ok. beautiful writing. next subject… you are not giving yourself enough credit! You have high resolution lenses in your glasses, so they are NOT coke bottle glasses. AND, you are still too young and hot to wear orthopedic shoes. AND, the white boots would add some pizazz to all the black. AND, the fact that you collected and prized Monkee cards really DOES mike you middle aged. Hmmm. Just my thoughts for the evening! Make it a great day (doing whatever middle-aged, coke bottle glasses, orthopedic wearing women do)! XO

    1. Point well taken. The glasses are a high resolution lens. As far as the orthopedic shoes, Cole Haan has been a favorite because of the Air Nike insole since I broke my foot 18 months ago. They are stylish (and expensive) but I do buy them for all their old lady features.

      As far as being a card-carrying Monkees fan…that is true also. However, the AARP material began arriving 3 years ago….and I’m just 24 months away from qualifying for Shopko’s and Kohl’s Senior Citizen Discount Days!

      On a final note, your card to Megan, “It’s not the size of the mountain but the strength of the Mountain Mover” was her all time favorite card. It’s still in the basket.

  5. Valerie,

    I am so happy you received all of our cards. God’s amazing timing and grace never ceases to amaze me. I had tears streaming down my face as I read your blog and imagined you bundled in your coat reading our letters. Yours and Megan’s relationship continue to inspire me on a daily basis.

    Thinking of you,
    Sunni Cranfill

    1. Hi Sunni! Every picture, every note, every word was an inspiration to me. Thank you for sharing Psalm 61:2 and Psalm 143:3 with me. You are truly beautiful, inside and out, and it is my great JOY to know you.

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Article by: Valerie Bourdain