Posted by: Susan Loken | October 20, 2014

His Number One Fan

Friday night was Taylor’s final soccer game at ASU. My middle son has been playing sports for all his life, but this particular chapter will come to a close as he graduates in May. Taylor was a standout baseball player throughout high school, until his senior year when he took up golf. He quickly became an exceptional golfer and played the sport for two years at a junior college. When he began at ASU, he tried out for the soccer team and proved himself to be a valuable team member. This year–his final year at ASU–he was named team captain and given a new opportunity to shine.

Taylor’s biggest fan, through each and every sport, has been his Grandpa. Grandpa never, and I mean NEVER, misses a game. There was one time when my father was in the hospital and begged the doctors to be released early, simply so he would not miss his grandson’s game. Truly, this man is Taylor’s Number One Fan.

Friday night was an emotional night for Taylor. College will soon become a fond and distant memory. Real world responsibilities will replace the camaraderie and fun of team sports. As this journey ends and another prepares to unfold, it only seems fit that Grandpa would be on the sidelines cheering for his favorite athlete.

Taylor, recognizing and appreciative of his biggest supporter, runs over to his Grandpa after every goal he scores. He does this at ALL games, during each season. It has become their special ritual. IMG_0177 Taylor’s final soccer game at ASU field ended with a win. When the game ended, he ran over to hug his Grandpa and celebrate the victory.

Soon, the entire team and coach followed. Rather than simply exchanging hellos and high fives, everyone gathered around Grandfather and Grandson. They had come over to present Grandpa with a ASU Soccer jersey, signed by the entire team.

Taylor had signed the jersey earlier, not realizing that the team would, hours later, offer this special gift to his number one fan… Grandpa.

As the team presented the jersey to Grandpa, tears of joy fell from his eyes. It was one of the most touching moments of his life. In 51 years, I’ve only seen my Dad cry twice. Last night was one of those times.

This thoughtful act of kindness not only touched my dad’s soul; it also touched his grandson’s. My son views his team as an extended family and last night they sure acted like family. The ASU Soccer team cares enough about their teammates to not only support one another, but to extend that graciousness to loved ones and supporters.

To see them present my father with that symbolic jersey was one of the most beautiful acts of kindness I have ever witnessed. Pure happiness filled the faces of two people that I absolutely love–my father and my son.

As I watched a Grandson and his Number One Fan embrace, my soul swelled with an inexplicable joy. It was one of the best moments of my life.

We all have that one fan, supporter or loved one cheering us on. Perhaps, take a moment this week to acknowledge that special person who has always been there for you. Say thank you in a small, but memorable way. IMG_0180


  1. Ok I CRIED reading this. I know the love and kindness in your family. So happy to see the recognition your Dad got and the love Taylor has for him. Congrats Taylor! Thank you for sharing this.

  2. What a wonderful story. Bob you can be so proud of your Grandson and Taylor I know you are so proud of your Grandpa. May you always remember this special day and the devotion that your family displays for you. You are blessed.

  3. What a beautiful story, Aline. Your grandson is one special young man.
    And Bob, I think he must love watching him. You have a wonderful family.

    Love Linda

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