Every now and then you meet some people in life and at the time you don’t quite know the reason, relevance, or purpose. Things just happen. It is also at somewhat mindless inceptions of relationships that you meet some of the most influential, most loved, most caring, most appreciated people that you will ever come across. My rookie year as I sat at a table during the day before we played the Miami Dolphins, I scrolled across a tweet from Hannah Vanucie with the hashtag “SeahawksMeetRachel”. Intrigued by it, myself, along with some more of my teammates began to explore the legitimacy of this young lady fighting cancer whose goal was to one day meet the Seahawks. After some research, we had to make it happen. The next week, I walked right into Pete’s office and told him about her and with no hesitation he said “let’s roll out the red carpet for her”.
With the help of her good friend Hannah, I manipulated my way down South to surprise her at her house and invite her to practice, meet my teammates, and see the facility. She also was my guest to the 49er game which was pretty dag on cool. Considering it was a life long dream, it was one gratifying moment to see it all come together with the help and cooperation of my teammates and the Seattle Seahawks organization. Everybody enjoyed her company; just check out the tweets.
There were many times between now and then that Rachel and I kept in touch and would just check up on each other and send some words of encouragement just to make sure that we were still fighting the good fight in our respective world’s and I must say, it’s hard to complain about my life when talking to someone fighting a deadly disease – BUT I did my best.
I’m glad that it worked out the way it did because I was able to be a servant. I was able to be a fan. I was able to sit back and do the yelling, screaming, laughing, and crying for someone… So if I could have told you the last time I saw you just a few weeks ago I would have said this:
I’ve played in front of millions and met the President but Rach, girlfriend, you have got it going on. Quietly you scream courage. Humbly you conquered demons. Willingly you loved so many more than yourself when all the world wanted to do was love you and for that, I am a fan. A fan of someone who smiled in the worst circumstances, and laughed in excruciating pain to let the world know you were ok. I’m glad that your fight is over. I’m selfishly sad that you were called home, but overly joyed that you can smile truthfully. God makes no mistakes. He didn’t make a mistake when he made you, and didn’t make a mistake letting you touch every single life that you did. Now you’ll never miss a game, moment, or special day. You’ll be my number one fan wherever this world takes me, with the best seat in the house and I’ll be yours forever wearing the bracelets you’ve sent me. Rest easy for all the nights your couldn’t down here.. We will talk again.. I’ll be sure to stay in touch with the family.. Tell my Dad I said hey and let him know I’m ok.. As I always said call me if you need me, I’ll do my best to answer..
From somewhere deep down in my heart…