A few years back, the Nebraska football team won an ESPY award for a play during their spring game in which they let a little 7 year old boy carry the football for a touchdown. His name was Jack and he was undergoing treatment for brain cancer. Everyone in the stadium was wearing "Team Jack" t-shirts. It was a very touching moment.
This past Saturday I was in Lincoln for the Nebraska-Oregon football game. It was the first time I had been back to Lincoln since Jack died on January 3rd. I was there with my brother and two of my best friends, one of whom I have known since 6th grade and is an attorney in Lincoln. I actually had a great day. It was a beautiful drive over. With the sun at our back you could make out just a hint of fall color. We hit all our favorite spots prior to the game. We had the very best seats in the house thanks to a friend who made them available and of course, Nebraska won! (Dr. Conte, Oregon alumnus, still says the better team didn't win-I think he said the same thing when Ohio State beat the Ducks for the national championship in 2014-but I digress) I hadn't heard the stadium that loud since the glory days of Husker football. It was a great experience.
Additionally, it was another chance to heal and make peace with the fact that my sweet boy is gone. Ironically (or not), Nebraska lost it's all-american punter, Sam Foltz, in a car accident this summer. So, the entire stadium, initiating from the team (Sam's best friends) continues to be in a state of mourning. There were also still "Team Jack" posters all round to support little Jack in his battle with cancer. However, I was in my own different state of morning. Not for a famous Nebraska football player, but for an inconspicuous pre-med student (Jack James Alden Hurt) that I thought of every time I looked at the student section as well as saw a "Team Jack" banner. Even though it was for different reasons, it was pretty special to be honoring deceased loved ones with 90,000 other people! It really turned it in to a celebration of all that was great in their lives. I am so thankful that Jack got to experience faith, great health, loving a girl, playing basketball, a gift for science, intellectual curiosity, and a close family during his short, but very full life. I truly celebrated his life Saturday and that of our own "Team Jack"; those of us who were blessed to know him and love him.
"Nothing you have not given away will ever really be yours." - C.S. Lewis "Mere Christianity"
- Dr. Michael Hurt, CMO