A diploma, a cardinal and some Sooners
When I started this website, I was not sure I would include a blog. I honestly enjoy writing; I simply did not want the responsibility of maintaining a blog. However, truth is there are times there are things that need to be shared. Not always are they articles from the mainstream media...sometimes they are from my heart. So here goes.
David and I recently traveled to Fayetteville to receive Molly's degree. We were so delighted The University of Arkansas decided to grant her a degree, posthumously. I have never used that word so much in my life until the last few weeks.
We were sent a parking pass which allowed us to park within a stone's throw of the Bud Walton Arena. We were given specific instructions of which elevator to take and where to go and who would be waiting for us once we arrived at the Arena. They asked for a photo of Molly to display on the big screen when they called her name. It was clear that every detail had been considered and they wanted to make this a special occasion for us.
Once we arrived at Bud Walton Arena, we were greeted by those we were told would be waiting for us. I was given a gift which is the official pin worn by social workers who have received their masters degree. We chatted with the heads of the school of social work, and they were so pleasant and kind. We met another family who was also present to receive their daughter's degree. We had reserved seats on the front row, and when we walked across the stage, I was given a bouquet of red and white roses. David was handed the diploma which is official and has Molly's name on it. As far as a commencement ceremony goes and you are there to receive a diploma for your daughter who is deceased, this was about as special as I could have imagined.
As significant as the actual commencement was, it was actually the events leading up to it which left me almost speechless.
David made plans for us to have lunch earlier in the day with the men's golf coach at the course where the University of Arkansas golf team practices and plays. It is a little piece of paradise called Blessings Golf Club. I had heard about it from David, as he had opportunity to visit it on previous trips to Arkansas. The name suits it well because it truly does leave you feeling blessed. It was built by the Tyson family...as in Tyson chicken. And it is special. The club house is unlike anything I have ever seen. The course itself is spectacularly beautiful, and I do not even play golf.
As we made the drive to the course, I had a million thoughts racing through my head. Not altogether unusual. One of the thoughts I had was wondering if there might be some sort of wink from God on this day. We have had so many winks and signs along this journey without Molly Jane. I thought to myself how great it would be to have one TODAY....the day we receive her degree. I did not think it needed to be anything too grand or extravagant. I have grown particularly fond of cardinals who seem to appear at just the very moment I am thinking of Molly. So I thought it might be nice for a cardinal to land on a tree next to our car. That would make me smile and feel like Molly is with us.
As we parked our car at Blessings Golf Club, another car pulled into the space a few empty spots away from us. I noticed the driver was at the back of his car with the attendant from the course who was getting his golf bag out of his car. For some reason, I stopped to pay closer attention. As I looked at the driver, I instantly knew I recognized him. It was Sam Bradford, Heisman winning quarterback from OU....our team!
David had not seen it was Sam and I needed to communicate telepathically with him that Sam Bradford was standing right next to our car. I knew it would be uncool to just blurt out, "David, there is Sam Bradford." So I got right in front of David with my back to Sam and gave David the look with my eyes...it said, "THAT IS SAM BRADFORD." As Sam walked past our car, David commented, "Hey Sam! Boomer Sooner!"
I am sure Sam was over the top thrilled to have arrived at a course called Blessings planning to have a little quality time on the course to encounter two 50 somethings who are also Sooners. Surely he thought he was safe in Razorback territory. If he was flustered by our fan like behavior he did not show it. We chatted for a few moments, and he even agreed to take a photo with me.
Once we let him continue on to the course, I told David what I had been thinking about as we made the drive...only a mere few moments prior. I was hoping for a little God wink...a sign...something out of the ordinary....maybe even a simple cardinal...anything. We both agreed that meeting Sam Bradford in the parking lot was a pretty amazing God wink.
Once home, David shared the photo of me and Sam Bradford on social media. That is standard protocol when you get a photo with a Heisman winner from your alma mater. Of course, all our friends were thrilled we had met one of the greats. A few days later I was looking at the comments and one in particular stood out to me. It read:
"What!!!! He was signed by the Arizona Cardinals! So, you got your Cardinal! Yes. She sees times of celebration and joy in our lives. She sent you a cardinal!"
I read it a second time. Sam Bradford is a Cardinal?! Last I knew he was a Viking or a Ram. I Googled to be sure the commenter's information was correct. Indeed she was. Sam Bradford was signed to the Arizona Cardinals in March of 2018. HE IS A CARDINAL!!!
That little piece of information takes running into him in the parking lot to a whole new level of OH MY GOSH ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME?! I had said out loud...in my head...a cardinal landing on a tree would have been a nice wink from God. In true God fashion, He hears me and decides He will show me a cardinal in a way I have never seen and would never expect. I have an idea Molly Jane might have had something to do with it. This chance encounter of two Sooners with an award winning Sooner football player in a parking lot in Arkansas....deep in Razorback territory...at a course called Blessings...all to show us He is with us...and so is she!
WOW. Just WOW.
Boomer Sooner! Woo Pig Sooie!