Today is the first day of football season for LEAYSA. We received word that your football jersey number (89) was retired for this year in your memory. We also found out that Coach Matt's initials and your number are also being placed on the helmets of the team this year.
We decided we wanted to go out to the field for the opening ceremony. Daddy and I wore our Team Caleb shirts and we dressed Caden in your football jersey. It was quite a bittersweet moment to see him in it, but I think you would have wanted him to wear it. Almost every time he sees or hears about football, he hollers, "LOBO BLUE!" He wanted to make sure his outfit was complete so he put on his blue sunglasses and his black and blue hat. He looked like a little rapper. Especially, when Daddy took a picture of him.
When we got out to the field, we saw so many of your teammates and their parents there. I got a chance to talk to Coach Matt's wife, Jodi. They are coping with his loss as best they can, and, like us, have their moments. We are comforted to know that you and Coach are together. One of your teammates told his mom that the reason Coach went to Heaven was so he could coach your football team there with all your new friends. It brought a smile to my face and a tear to my eye when I heard it.
We were asked if we would join Jodi and her son on the field with the team for the National Anthem and a moment of silence to honor both of you. I was actually doing okay until we started to walk onto the field and Jodi reached for my hand. We both started crying at that moment. I leaned over to her and whispered, "We will get through this together."
After the National Anthem and moment of silence, we were given a jersey for this year with your number on it. The team also gave Jodi a coach's shirt in honor of Coach Matt.
It is amazing how our community continues to pour into our lives and are now showing that same support to Coach's family.
We love you so very much, Caleb, and miss you more than words can begin to express. Remember, you are always in our hearts and we love you to infinity and beyond.
Mommy, Daddy & Caden
P.S. Honey, please be watching for a few more DIPG warriors who may become angels very soon. Gabby is being admitted to the hospital again and is not doing well. Stella's parents have been told she only has a few weeks left. Oliver's tumor has started to grow again. A little boy from South Africa named Roan will be joining you very soon - maybe even today. Make sure to welcome him and show him around.