The Zoey Blog: A Reminder of a Good Feeling... FINAL - COVER UNIVERSE EXPLORERS ORDER

Sunday, March 24, 2013

A Reminder of a Good Feeling...

Defending National Champion Loyola Greyhounds enter The Big House

At first glance he was an accomplished athlete, playing on a big stage...a very big stage...but then three goals later, a Loyola win, and a quick sideline reunion with parents and friends and he looked much different.  We met in the tunnel, shook hands and talked very briefly.  It was there, in the shadows of that infamous tunnel, that I noticed how young he was.  He was just a kid.  He was exactly the same age as his parents and I were in high school.  I told his Mom and Dad much later how the meeting threw me.  It staggered me a little and thrust me back twenty plus years to a high school hallway, or someone's Saturday garage party.  He was just a infinitely successful and skilled kid, but a kid.  We quickly exchanged pleasantries, and arranged to speak later this weekend to finish the story I was writing, then I walked up the tunnel and out into the bright sunshine of a pretty amazing day.

Zach Herreweyers - Loyola @ Michigan

I've walked up that tunnel dozens of times, and each time I think I've taken the time before just a little more for granted...until today.  Shaking hands with my friend's son in the belly of that incredible place, a place that embraces so many of my best memories, flipped me for an emotional hiccup.  I tripped on the experience a little, and was happy to let Zach visit his friends and family while I wandered away more than a little in awe.  The young man quickly creeping onto everyone's radar was, indeed, just a kid, and it struck me like a bolt of lightening how we, his parents and I,  no longer were.  This was my friend's child...a kid from back home, and I'd just spent the afternoon snapping photos of him for a magazine that would very likely print whatever words I gushed down on paper, words about a young man that I barely remembered as a baby that I'd never met.  It felt like I was shaking hands with my entire past in that tunnel.  I can't imagine how surreal the entire day must have been for Chris and Heather, how proud they must have been.

Sometimes we're not ready for the cycling of our own lives right before our eyes. Today was one of those days.  As proud as you'd think I'd be for Zach, I was more proud of his Mom and Dad.  When the universe blessed a nineteen year old girl with a son eighteen years ago she would never have imagined this.  I met that same baby today in Michigan Stadium's tunnel, or it felt that way.  Just a baby, on one of the biggest stages of his life.

Nice work today Zach.  Congratulations Chris and Heather.  It was a beautiful day to watch your life flash before your eyes.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I thought the same thing when I seen Zach yesterday.....he's just a kid. The same kid that used to wander across the road to mom and dad's place to play with Mitch. As a mom, my heart was bursting with pride for him because he has talent and drive and wants to play yet my heart ached because he is still so young and spends so much time away from his family for the love of the game. I don't know how they do it but whatever they are doing, it's working. Well played today Zach, well played!


March 24, 2013 at 10:21 AM  
Blogger Chris Herreweyers said...

What a great read. I got choked up when I read the blog and have never thought about it from another persons view. I am the luckiest DAD in the world. Heather brought a great person into the world on July 19/1994 and I am so grateful for that. I have been blessed in life as a Dad with 2 great kids. Thank you Brian for a writing about our son it is an honor that you could and im so glad u were the one to do it.
Thank you Heather for bringing Zach and Hailey in this world for me.

March 25, 2013 at 9:47 AM  

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