I am only a little upset I look somewhat ridiculous in this picture because there are much more important points to notice in this picture.
But first a story:
After I broke my leg and went through several surgeries over the last 2 years I wasn’t able to march the Summer of 2011 to the end. I was invited to stay with Crown the week of finals. While I was there I was introduced to a very special little girl. Her name is Avabelle, she is the daughter of Ben and Cindy Harloff. And for those who don’t know Ben Harloff is part of the brass staff at Crown and a key piece to our success.
Cindy came to me during Semi-Finals day while I was watching Crown rehearse and she had someone who wanted to meet me, Avabelle. She was 4 at the time, very cute, and very shy. She stood behind her mother holding tight to her leg. She wanted to give me something, it was a little blue smurf from the new movie that had recently come out. She called the little guy “Hero” and it was her favorite toy ever, he stood there with a rather large staff held above his head.
She told me that she wanted me to have it because I was her hero, and she has been praying for me ever since I got hurt in the first place.
I’ll tell you what, I was incredibly touched and choked up by this and didn’t know what to say exactly other than thanking her and taking the toy and she proceeded to hide back behind her mother.
I’ll never forget that, the day I met my youngest, most supportive fan.
He stayed on my bus all summer long, but I made sure for finals night that he would get to stand beside me on the podium.
If you look veryyyyyy closely right in front of my feet, you can see him standing there!
Ohmygosh. I just saw The Smurfs movie for the first time. I never understood why little Avabelle called this guy Hero, when under his foot they clearly gave him the name Clumsy. Clumsy was a Hero for saving their village from the bad guy…and she understood that! And then she gave me her favorite toy because…I was her hero.
Okay, This is incredibly sappy and adorable and I think I might just…hnnnggg