Over the years, S2 has mentioned him as they are in the same grade. And being in a small school you sorta get to know people even if you don't know people.
At the beginning of the school year, when the boys were decked out in football gear, we took a field trip. S2, Jakob and Jonathan were all in the same seat - as usual - and I sat across from them with the little boy with half a heart.
The ride was long and I dug around in my huge purse for crayons, paper and pens and passed them out among the four boys to help them kill the time. "I wish I could play football," little Owen admitted to me.
I wanted to say, "That you are playing and at school and ALIVE is more than any old football game!". But I didnt' say that. I just said, "There is so much you CAN do."
"Just soccer," he muttered.
And that was the end of the conversation.
Shortly thereafter, we heard about a contest Owen's mom had entered him in. American Eagle was giving a scholarship to a deserving kid. I voted on facebook for him daily and encouraged everyone else too.
I checked with his Dad - who I see nearly every single morning but still don't know his name nor hardly ever talk to - nearly every day to see how the contest was coming.
When he won, HE WON, S2 and his buddies figured Owen got all the luck.
When Owen's Dad told me that Owen had won, I was so thrilled I did a leap in the middle
of the elementary school hallway. And then I hugged him. The dad. So overjoyed,
I hugged Owen's Dad.
And when I got back in my vehicle that morning, I called my husband.
"I hugged Owen's Dad this morning and I figured you should know.
It being a small town and all."
To this day, weeks later, I cannot hardly look at Owen's Dad for hugging him.
But you all should expect this of me.
American Eagle 77 Kids came out to see Owen and present him with the 10,000 dollar scholarship. It was a huge deal and I made it to school just in time to see it.
The school also received a 2,000 dollar gift, which Owen decided the school should use for new indoor recess games (you should have heard the cheer) and a snow cone machine...most kids didn't know what that was, soon they will be cheering that too.
Owen being presented with the scholarship at school.
I love Owen's big grin here. The Check is WAY bigger than him!
Owen standing with the PTO.
High Five'ing with American Eagle 77.
It was such a great story, Owen, in and of itself. That he won an award out of all the kids with amazing stories across the nation - complete strangers all over voting for him - is just another amazing part of the that story.
And American Eagle 77 Kids did an amazing job and I wanted to personally thank them.
If you would like to "meet" little Owen and his family....here's a video clip from a newscast.
I apologize for taking so long to post this great story!
And I hope Owen's Dad knows I was just thrilled that Owen won and that's why I hugged him.
I had to set that record straight! ;)