I get really emotional when I think about Parkers flag football team and how supportive they have been to our family. Hudson was supposed to be on the team with Parker in the spring season but things obviously changed after Leukemia. Before he was diagnosed, he use to come to all of the practices with me and he would watch, play on the playground and ride his scooter or bike around the park. About a week or two before we found out about his cancer, he sat and watched Parker play very intently on the sidelines. Coach Germaine asked him if he wanted to join them doing some drills during practice. Hudson gladly stood up and struggled to run out onto the field. At that time, we didn't know what was wrong but it was obvious that it was a struggle for him to run. He wouldn't complain or say that it hurt. But you could tell by the way he ran so awkwardly that something was wrong. We thought it was just plantar fasciitis or something. I remember coach telling him he should probably sit down and rest when he noticed him struggling. I set him down on a cement block next to the field, but apparently set him down too hard. It literally took his breath away-- almost as if the air had been knocked out of him. It was very apparent that he hurt. Now looking back, it's like "Duh!" Leukemia is in the bones so his body just ached and hurt. I can't even comprehend the pain he was feeling.
Anyway, Parkers team gave Hudson his own jersey with his name on the back of it. They went with a super hero theme and had all of the boys wear super hero socks to the games to support Hudson, who was our Super Hero and was "Strong as Steele." Hudson loved going to Parkers games in his jersey and watching and feeling like a part of the team, even though he couldn't play. It meant so much to us that they were so thoughtful, kind and encouraging to our family.
Parker loved game day and his favorite part was running through the tunnel at the end of the game while we all clapped and cheered for all of them.