Monthly Archives: April 2014

KC Chiefs Head Coach Andy Reid talks family, faith and football

That they might have joy column, NNL, by Jacki Wood

I have admittedly never been a Kansas City Chiefs fan.

But that changed a bit last year when they hired Andy Reid as head coach, who played football at Brigham Young University. And you know how much I love my alma mater, especially BYU football.

So I was thrilled when I was invited to attend a special event with Coach Reid and his wife, Tammy, this past weekend at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Platte City.

It was promoted as an evening of “Family, Faith and Football.” And the Reids did not disappoint to the approximately 800 people in attendance with plenty of laughs and stories from their lives and his coaching career.

Tammy started by sharing their family history. They met in a tennis class at BYU and began dating. She was a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints; he was not. They both returned to their homes that summer, Tammy to Arizona and Andy to California, where he began learning more about her church and was eventually baptized.

They both returned to BYU, and a year later, they were married. They have five children, born in five different states due to his various coaching stints, and one grandchild.

She talked about ways their faith has helped their family over the years including the death of their son, Garrett, who died of an accidental heroine overdose a year and a half ago.

“We know that we came from a loving Heavenly Father who sent us to this earth to be tested…and we know we will one day see him again,” she said. “That’s what got us through that really huge trial in our lives.”

Then Coach Reid shared a PowerPoint he presented to his players last week to get ready for the upcoming season.

“We are the Chiefs,” he said. “And we’re going to be a little bit different.”

He continued: “There’s a small margin of victory in the NFL. What are we going to do differently to go win the trophy?”

He talked to his players about practical, simple principles that will help them be a little different, to get to the Super Bowl and to “get that ring” this year.

He told the audience that those same principles he shared with his players are similar to what is taught in his faith and are applicable to everyone.

“Football is a microcosm of life,” he said.

Some of the principles included sacrifice, training, trust and working to win.

Sacrifice: Every team is talented; you have to give up something to get a lot, on and off the field.

Training: Conditioning and knowledge can help you dominate.

Trust: Working hard as a team brings mutual respect for one another. Trust = wins. Players come in as teammates and leave as family.

Work to win: Give your best every day.

Coach Reid concluded by saying: “Surround yourself with greatness. I’ve been fortunate to be surrounded by great people and I love every minute of it. I jump out of bed early in the morning and I am ready to rock and roll.”

I love that. How many of us are jumping out of bed every morning, excited to tackle to day.

We have to be a little different. And we have to be willing to give up a little to get a lot.

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Relay For Life: Osborns work together to fight cancer and move on

Feature for the NNL by Jacki Wood

 

Audrey Osborn had been engaged just four months when her husband, Joel, was diagnosed with testicular cancer in 2009.

They were both just 24 years old at the time.

“I remember I was in the athletic offices on campus,” Audrey said. “We were both graduate assistants at the time. And he came up and told me that they had found a lump and the doctor was pretty positive it was cancerous.

“He was very calm and positive about it. It honestly didn’t even hit me at the time because he was so optimistic about it. That was his attitude throughout his entire journey, always positive, never felt sorry for himself, he just knew in his mind that he would beat it and be fine. His attitude made it very easy on me in the beginning because we just went on with our lives like nothing was wrong.”

That was in November, and the following summer, the two were married. They found out on their honeymoon that Joel – the former Northwest Missouri State quarterback and current assistant coach – would need to start chemotherapy when they returned.

“He completed four rounds of chemo, and even after his first round, he was still going about life as normal,” Audrey said. “It really wasn’t until the second round that it started taking a toll on him.”

The caregiver role

Joel started losing his hair, his energy decreased, his appetite changed and there were times when he would get pretty sick.

And that’s when Audrey stepped in with her role as caregiver for her new husband.

“God works in mysterious ways,” she said. “I just so happened to be in between jobs at the time so I was able to go with him every day to chemo. What a blessing that was. I don’t know how we could have planned that any better. God was definitely watching over us during that time.”

She said her role as caregiver was to be his rock.

“We left all the drama out of everything and just did what we had to do when we had to do it,” she said. “We both always had the mindset that this is how it is now, but we’ll get past this and move on. I just did whatever he needed me to do. That’s part of the deal, ‘in sickness and in health.’ He would have done the same for me.”

As bad as Joel felt toward the end of his treatments, it was football season and he was a graduate assistant. Audrey said he felt he had a job to do and so he never missed a game.

“That just goes to show you how dedicated he is and how loyal he is,” she said.

His last round of chemo finished up around his 25th birthday in October of 2010, right in the middle of the season.

During that time, Audrey said they looked to their family, especially their parents, and their good friends for support.

“They did everything they could to help out and were always there to talk to, to lean on and give encouragement,” she said. “Our Bearcat family was awesome during this time, too. The coaches and their wives were nothing but supportive and helped out any way they could. They brought us meals and drove Joel to appointments if I couldn’t.

“We are honestly so blessed to be a part of the Bearcat family.”

Relay For Life

Since Joel’s diagnosis, the couple has walked with a team each year. His parents started a team in his hometown of Harlan, IA. They go up there and walk with them when they can, in honor of Joel as well as in the memory of his Grandma Osborn and his Grandpa Blum.

The Bearcat athletic office also has a team the Osborns have been a part of in the past. And they have also participated in the Survivor Dinner.

“Relay is a chance for us to take a break from our crazy schedules and remember what Joel went through and what so many others are going through,” she said. “It brings you back to reality and reminds us how thankful we are that Joel is still in remission four years later.”

And Relay is also a time for everyone to be on the same team, Audrey said.

“You realize that cancer affects just about every family in one way or another,” she said. “You get to spend the day with your community, maybe someone you see at Hy-Vee or someone that you run into at the Community Center, and it reminds you that in reality, we’re all here for each other.

“It also reminds you that you don’t always know someone else’s story, what someone else is going through. It’s just a great way to show your support for everyone in the community.”

The Nodaway County Relay For Life event will be held Saturday, May 17, at Bearcat Stadium. For more information, visit facebook.com/RelayForLifeOfNodawayCounty.


Hate is heavy

Blog post:

There are days when I feel like I hate everything and everyone. My family probably feels like that’s every day 🙂

I hate my body. I hate my pain. I hate my bed. I hate my room. I hate the color on the walls. I hate that I live in this town. I hate purple socks. I hate all socks. I hate yogurt and turkey bacon. I hate how I feel after eating Reese’s eggs for breakfast instead of the yogurt and turkey bacon. (Who am I kidding? Reese’s eggs for breakfast rocks. Ha!) I hate stupid commercials on tv. I hate the color red. I hate annoying people. I hate happy people. I hate perfect people. I hate the people that love me. I hate hate hate hate hate…

But the hate makes it all worse. The emotional feelings make me feel physically worse.

And so I have to take a step back and realize what I’m doing. And I have to look for love.

I love the people who love me. I love the fact that I have a bed. I love that I have an iPad, social media, music, tv and the Internet.

I love that I’m not alone. I know there are other people out there who feel the same as I do, which is why I’m writing this blog. I love that we can provide one another hope. I love that I can write.

Hate is heavy, it weighs us down, it’s dark, it is destructive.

My bedroom, where I spend much of my time, is pretty dark. I have these great curtains that keep the light out in the hopes that I can get more sleep. I was lying in bed today when I heard a storm rolling through – I love thunderstorms – so I decided to pull back the curtains and open the blinds. And then I noticed something. The tree in our front yard is in full-on popcorn popping mode – full bloom – and beautiful. I looked around and noticed the neighbor’s bush bursting with red and the first few dandelions poking their heads up from the ground. And then I watched it rain. It was so refreshing. Soon the storm was over, the sun peeked out from behind the clouds and light filled my room.

It surprised me how much I enjoyed it, with how bad I am feeling today, and it reminded me how important light can be to us.

When we’re knee-deep in the mud of whatever it is we’re slogging through in life, it’s sometimes hard to remember that it’s only temporary. It may not be today or tomorrow or in the next 10, 20 or even 50 years. But it will get better. The sun will return and we will enjoy its warmth shining down upon us.

So look for the good. Look for love and look to the light. It will lift us up. I BELIEVE that it will.

Dieter. F. Uchtdorf said: “Healing comes when we move away from the darkness and walk toward the hope of a brighter light.”

Pull back the curtains and see what you can see. It just might surprise you.


Hannah Alaska, meaning grace and beauty

The door creaks open, but I don’t move and I don’t open my eyes. I hear her tiny footsteps skating across the old hardwood floor. I feel her warm breath on my neck and smell a hint of Bounce dryer sheets on her pajamas and shampoo from last night’s bath. She reaches out her finger, gently touching my cheek and sliding it down my face, repeating the motion a second and a third time. I squint through the darkness to see the bright blue numbers. 4:12 am. “Mommy. Hungry. Get up.” I pause to enjoy the early morning moment. I roll over, pull the covers up over me and smile, out of her view. She leans in and I whisper, “it’s still nighttime, go back to bed.” She touches my face again with her tiny little three-year-old fingers, trying for a response, but I ignore her. In defeat, she changes tactics, maneuvering herself into our bed. One leg up. Then the other. She tugs at the sheet and pulls herself up next to us, squirms a bit and then snuggles in beside me. “Love you mommy,” she says. I roll back over toward her, stare into her big, dark eyes and smile, knowing I won’t be going back to sleep. “I love you, too, Hannah.”

I came across this today while I was looking for something else. I think I wrote it in 2003 for a poetry class.

And now, 11 years later… pretty grown up and beautiful 🙂

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