When football comes around, I swear Klay gets a tingle in his underpants. He’s that excited about it.
My husband is the biggest San Diego Chargers fan out there. He’s been this way before I met him at 16.
And, the past two years, he’s had to manage the shitty hand of cards life dealt us.
I wanted to do something for this deserving man of mine, so I had to find some way to make a dream of his a reality.
I tweeted the Director of Public Relations for the San Diego Chargers early November and to my surprise, a few hours later I received a reply with his email so we could chat.
I anxiously typed away at my keyboard, deleting and rewriting our story, in a short-ish email, explaining our story and his love for the Bolts.
THE EPIC EMAIL:
I was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia while I was 29 weeks pregnant nearly two years ago. Our baby was in the NICU, but is now healthy and in his terrible two’s. But it was my husband—the biggest Chargers fan—who got me through it all.
Klay has loved the Chargers since I met him at age 16. He followed LT when he became an official BOLT and never looked back, even though we’re from Dallas—aka Cowboys Nation.
When I was sick, Klay was with me every step of the way. He shaved his head and then mine when my hair began to fall out. He spent countless nights with me in the hospital comforting me through the pain—both emotionally and physically. Our oldest son was two when I was diagnosed and Klay managed to balance staying with me at the hospital, going to school, working full-time and spending some nights at home with Brody, our oldest, & Beckham (when he eventually got out of the NICU) while also serving as a USAF Reservist one weekend a month.
At 20 years old, he’d enlisted in the Air Force and we married soon after. We were stationed in Alaska at Elmendorf AFB for almost 4 years. When we left Alaska, we took a road trip down the west coast and of course made a stop in SD before trekking back to Texas. We visited Qualcomm Stadium in May 2011, after the road trip of a lifetime (if only it were football season, that would have been the true highlight of our journey).
But the next year, the Chargers played the Saints in NOLA, so we quickly bought tickets and drove from Dallas to see Rivers and Gates take on Brees and the Black & Gold. Though we lost that game, the excitement in my husband’s eyes when he saw his Chargers take the field was a moment I’ll never forget.
The past two years have been the most difficult of our lives. Klay became both a mom and a dad during that time because I was in the hospital so much and unable to care for our children. I cannot stress how incredible this man is. I’m still struggling with my health going in and out of the hospital from time to time. After receiving my stem cell transplant last year, I’ve been in remission but I have a long road ahead to become my “healthy” self again. Klay has remained my fan and kept his faith in me like he does his Chargers.
We’re planning to go to the Houston game Nov. 27th. We cannot wait to see our team come out with a W! I was hoping to surprise my husband with meeting some of the team, if possible. He’s a man who takes care of his family and loves his family very deeply. I’d love to do something incredible for him by showing him that his team (his family) and the Chargers appreciate his support!
THE BIG SECRET
The incredible PR Director, Bill, and I corresponded throughout November in order to make this incredible surprise for Klay come to fruition. I’ve been so anxious the past few weeks, Klay seemed to take notice asking me “what was going on with me” on a few occasions (he knows me too well). But I managed to pull off my best acting skills to keep this secret, a secret.
Last Saturday, we drove to Houston bright and early as I was anxious to get to our hotel to meet Bill for Klay’s big surprise.
I was a nervous-wreck. I tried my best to busy myself while keeping an eye on the clock to ensure we met Bill at our designated meeting time.
With Klay in the dark, I had to tell a few little fibs to keep the surprise under wraps. I told him the wrong check-in time, so we’d leave the house earlier, and told a story about how we may meet up with some family of mine in Houston for a late lunch.
We arrived at the hotel more than an hour earlier than the early check-in time I lied about, so we went to The Cheesecake Factory for a quick lunch and I told him I needed to go to Target to pick up a few things I forgot.
With a little time to spare, this Target was connected to a mall, so we ran into a few shoe stores to see if they had any good deals (I needed shoes for the game). I decided on a pair and then looked at the time and rushed to the counter trying to pay and get out of there as quick as possible. I did not want to be late.
We pulled up to the hotel a few minutes before we were supposed to meet with Bill, parked in the garage, and my hands began to shake. I was hoping we’d manage to meet Bill or keep him in the lobby long enough to stick around to meet Bill (because I knew when we checked in, the room wouldn’t be ready). Otherwise, Klay would wonder why I’m just wanting to stand around in the lobby for no apparent reason.
We made it into the lobby, both Klay and I had to use the restroom, so we checked in and went to the restroom, and I shot off a text to Bill letting him know we were there.
He said he’d be down in a few, and so I anxiously stood near the elevators waiting for Klay (who was still in the restroom) and Bill. I was hoping Klay got to me first, so Bill could walk up to us and surprise him instead of Klay walking out to me talking to a man, who was supposed to be wearing a Chargers shirt.
Thankfully, Klay came around the corner first, but Bill was still nowhere in sight so I had to stall. I made some comment about the hotel’s Christmas decorations and their beautiful Christmas tree and that I wanted to take a picture of it. I faced the elevators, hands shaking with my camera up on my phone, waiting until I saw Bill.
With the soft “ding” of the elevator, I looked over and saw a tall gentleman in a white Chargers shirt. And I smiled and waved, casually when Klay wasn’t looking, and started walking toward Bill.
ES! I’m very, very sneaky! I pulled off the most epic surprise and then I told Klay the other great news–we were staying in the same hotel as the team.
We talked to Bill for about an hour and learned more about what the next entailed for us before the game (with the pre-game sideline passes).
Bill asked more about us and our story, about the boys and we learned more about him and what it’s like working for the Bolts. It was amidst our conversation, Bill interrupted us and gestured over our shoulders.
“There’s our quarterback right there,” he said.
And sure enough, I turned around to see an extremely tall man in a navy blue hat–Philip Rivers, the Quarterback for the San Diego Chargers.
And, this was only the beginning of this jaw-dropping weekend…
Click here for PART 2. You won’t want to miss it!
Still picking my jaw up off the floor,