The weather is — well, it’s December! Can’t complain; wouldn’t do any good! But you might admit that this has been a time for reflection. Two heroes showed their mettle and took home trophies.
First was hero who came from darkness into wondrous light as he streaked into Alabama history with a game-reversing touchdown in the last minutes of a heart-stopping football game. Jalen Hurts, benched quarterback for the Alabama Crimson Tide, had a bone to pick with fate whose outcome would not be denied.
Tua Tagovailoa, the quarterback who usurped Jalen’s position against the same opponent in the national championship game earlier this year, was hurt and could not play the last few minutes of the SEC Championship Game. The stage was set!
Jalen, who took no offense at being benched for a better part of the season, was practiced up and prayed up — and ready! He just sauntered in from his backup position, “placed it all in God’s hands” and went on with his teammates to win the game.
Character, integrity, honor, faith, leadership and a love of the game and Coach Nick Saban shined through his shy smile at the end of the game. Some say the coach had a tear or two in his eye when he spoke to the post-game interviewer; how proud he was of his team! But Jalen and Tua, best friends from the start, took the hearts of Alabama fans.
Former President George Herbert Walker Bush died on Nov. 30. The funeral was well-planned and went on without a hitch.
No negatives were allowed; partisan politics were checked at the door. Sweet, tearful and gentle jocularity made every watcher know that George H.W. Bush was a good ol’ boy who went when his country called, married his first love, wrote love letters, returned to serve his country and his sweetheart and their family until Thursday, when he was laid to rest beside his beloved “Bar” and little Robin, the daughter who died of leukemia when she was 3 years old.
As his son George W. said in his eulogy, “he’s probably hugging Robin right now, and … holding Mother’s hand once more.”
The love story of George H.W. and Barbara Bush spilled over onto a saddened natio; many who watched the funeral hardly knew the stories about the gentle man who served his country wherever it needed him: China, the CIA, as vice president and then president.
But this we know — President Bush had not just a cathedral full, but thousands more friends.
“Friends who will not leave you, if the Lord is Lord of them. … Friends will not say ‘Never’ and a lifetime’s not too long, to live as friends.” Michael W. Smith could hardly get through his beautiful song, requested by his friend at the closing of the service.
Sky’s clear, sun’s shining, cool breeze promising below freezing temperatures by morning. CAVU — ceiling and visibility unrestricted, for Jalen, Tua and Bush 41. No limits, no restrictions, first star to the right and straight on till morning, ‘round town!
Glenda Byars is a correspondent for The Gadsden Times. Send submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org.