I was sitting at home watching the American Football stories before the Super Bowl when I was reminded of my nephew Ethan’s story.
It all started several years ago when my brother and his wife were in a car accident. My brother’s wife died and my brother was taken to the hospital where he was fighting for his own life. Their oldest son was serving in Iraq at the time of the accident, and their youngest son, Ethan was home alone. The accident alone has so many different story angles that I could write forever on all that has happened since then, but this story is about Ethan and his story alone.
When I got the call from my sister I was in shock and struggled myself with what had happened. I can’t imagine what Ethan went through. His mom was dead, his dad in the hospital, and his brother in Iraq. How alone he must have felt. The next several days would be full of family supporting each other and funeral arrangements. Ethan’s brother would be sent home from Iraq, my brother would continue to be treated in ICU, and Ethan, well he was on his high school football team and they were in a battle for the state championship. The weekend of the funeral was full of family and friends showing support for my brother’s family. Ethan’s High School joined in and had a fundraiser by having a Spaghetti dinner that raised a lot of money for the family. That weekend Ethan had a football game, and Ethan wanted to play to honor his mom, and his dad.
The stadium was packed and every time Ethan took the field the crowd roared. But, it was one play that changed the game. Ethan was playing defense when the other team was moving down the field and it looked like they were going to score. The opponent’s runner was running down the field when Ethan moved in front of the runner and somehow stripped the ball from the runner. Ethan somehow was able to secure the ball and he started running the other direction. The crowd went crazy and I just looked up and I could see his mom jumping up and down celebrating with him. Ethan did what he set out to do, he honored his mom, his dad, and he stood tall in the midst of a family crisis. While I could write about so many other stories since the accident, this is Ethan’s story.