I know you’ve heard the phrase before. Maybe you were in the third grade and held that girl or boy’s hand for the first time… and it felt like the world stopped and the stars aligned. Maybe it was when Kentucky won the National Title in 2012 after the drought. Maybe it was just getting through a tough work week. Whatever that moment for you was… go to that moment you’re thinking of for just one minute. Close your eyes for a second (yes I know this may be weird… but if you honestly do this… you’ll see where I’m going). Open your eyes and take a deep breath.
When that unexpected or almost impossible event happened… how did you feel? Sometimes I wish I could go back to that feeling I had at the moment. Why do I feel that way? Why do you feel so good thinking about it? Well, I think it’s because those moments are so rare… when they happen… you just want to capture it… forever.
The stars aligned for me at the Kentucky vs. Missouri football game. I’ve been wanting to write this article since then, but I didn’t want to just rush a post for the sake of posting an article. So in thinking about the game… was it the fact that Kentucky won another SEC football game? No. Was it the fact that Kentucky is now 5-1 in football? No. Was it the fact that the student section was lit? No.
It was Ryan Cremeens.
If you don’t remember Ryan Cremeens from my article after the Spring Game this year… let me tell you about him. Ryan is now 10 years old, and he’s a passionate member of the Big Blue Nation. He loves going to school (especially studying math and science). He plays youth league football, and he has already scored a touchdown this year! He’s a fan of the Chicago Bears and Cubs (and is probably a bit heartbroken of this year’s outcome with the Cubbies). He listens to rap, a little bit of Michael Jackson, and has made some strong connections with some of the UK Football players (CJ Conrad, Boom Williams, Denzil Ware, Kendall Randolph…).
As of today’s scans on October 19th, 2017… Ryan is cancer free. He beat cancer several months ago, but I just got word from his wonderful father, Eric, that all tests were great today! You see… I wrote about Ryan after the Spring Game as he was an encouragement to me. While football and basketball are fun to watch and cheer on… when you see other things around you that are much bigger than sports, you start to appreciate life more. After the Spring Game, the story for me wasn’t about how good or bad UK looked (let’s be honest… a lot of it is opinion anyway). The story was that several Kentucky players have invested in something much bigger… better yet… someone.
After I connected with Eric Cremeens, Ryan’s father, I met up with Ryan and his family at the Cat Walk before the Mizzou game. Ryan had a full head of hair (which was the opposite from the last time I saw him). His family was so terrific in talking, sharing stories, and connecting in a way that made me feel that ‘stars aligning feeling’. Ryan has changed my life, because he’s shown me what strength and courage look like. If you take time to read my article from the Spring Game or maybe you’ve read this article… I hope and pray that you see how beautiful life is… how we should cherish it… and if we have an opportunity in front of us for the stars to align… we jump out on a leap of faith and take it. Ryan, if you’re reading this… thank you for being who you are.