“I don’t know what I’ll do as far as a career, but this is just the beginning of my life. I hope I’ll be able to go home like my Dad suggested years ago. Thank you all but, I can’t take any more questions. I have a plane to catch.” With that said he stepped back, turned and fell into Cynthia’s waiting arms.
“That was the bravest thing I have ever seen,” she said as they walked through the sea of flashing lights. Hailing a taxi, they headed for the airport. During the entire flight, neither one uttered a word – they just watched the flight attendants in navy blue suits walk the aisle passing out peanuts, sandwiches and drinks. Caleb took his infant size pillow and laid still against the window all the while trying to ignore the six year old kicking the seat from behind and the rank smell of the adult diaper needing to be changed from the seat in front. Cynthia just laid motionless watching the in-flight movie until she fell asleep.
Arriving at O’Hara Airport in Chicago, they hailed a taxi with the help of a red cap. This time Cynthia tipped with a little more gratitude. They hopped into the cab and went straight to Chicago General Hospital. “Excuse me nurse, I’m here to see Rev. Bowmont,”
“Yes ma’am,” the nurse replied. “He’s in Room 323.” With butterflies in her stomach, she pushes the door slowly entering with Caleb following.
“Hi Daddy,” She reached back for Caleb’s hand.
“Hello, little one. I’m glad you came.”
Pulling Caleb closer, “This is…Ca…”
“Oh, I know who he is. I just saw him on the news. Come on in son.”
After sitting and talking a while and repairing the father-daughter relationship, Rev. Bowmont prayed for the two. He reminded them to trust God with the rest of their decisions. Then he pulled Caleb close and whispered, “Son I know firsthand what some of those video games do and how some of them rob our children. The Ranch Ministry I started years ago was because of you.”
“Because of me…?”
“Yes, the Ranch is to bring the city youth up to the mountain to get away for a while and to explore the stars and feel real animals. The most popular violent games they’ve played have been the ones you developed personally.”
“I’m sorry sir.”
“There’s no need for that. You’ve made the right choice now. I prayed for your change of heart years ago. I’m just glad I was able to see it happen. Thank you son, for your witness to the video game industry.” After shaking hands, they said goodbye.
“I’ll see you soon Daddy, I’ll call you from Austin too,” Cynthia said, waving on the way out the door.
They stayed at the Bowmont Ranch until Monday morning. Boarding yet another plane, they headed to Austin, Texas. Once again, upon landing, they rushed to a taxi, traveling in the bright Texas sun. It wasn’t long before they approached the college campus, now surrounded by the NFL Officials, news media, helicopters circling and thousands upon thousands of ‘Longhorn’ fans all chanting Jedidiah’s name. Like the woman who pushed her way through the crowds to get to Jesus, they too were pressed on all sides. Finally making it to the office, they were escorted to the field where the press conference had already begun. Unable to make their way to the stage where the rest of the family was, Caleb and Cynthia managed to squeeze up front just behind the ‘press corps’.
There standing before him was the youngest of the ‘James boys’. The once chubby, ashy, slow poke had become a man. A literal tower of strength, his deep brown muscular frame glistening in the sun, he leaned on the podium with his left hand – his left shoulder and profile resembling the regal look of Daddy.
Jed leaned forward with his hands cupped over his eyes as he spotted his big brother and smiled. Putting his hands down, he continued with the conference.
“Alright, alright guys, where were we?”
“You were going to tell us what we’ve waited to hear all weekend,” one reporter comments.
Playing with the press, Jed replied, “Ah – what was that?”
“The draft Jed, the draft!” they shouted.
He inhales, raising his muscles underneath his orange and white ‘Longhorn’ polo shirt, and answered the long awaited question. “When I was a boy, my parents got me into football because they thought I was built for the game. Being from New York, we were huge ‘Big Blue” fans, so it was easy to love the game. In high school, I played football because I was good at the game. I also wanted a college scholarship. I received it – then came here to school. I played college ball for ‘me’ because I wanted to play football – because I love the game.”
“Yes, Yes,” a reporter shouts. “What’s your answer?”
“Going Home” and more can be found inside…