My father (ND'51) was terminally ill, and on a hospital ventilator. The doctor called our house one night at 2am, asking my mother and I to come in for what he thought was the end. It was a tough scene seeing dad fight the vent- and fight to keep a piece of paper in his hand. The paper was my letter of acceptance to ND that I had received a few weeks before. He survived that night and later came home,telling me that the letter gave him strength, and was adamant that he would drive me the 1200 miles to campus when school started and would stay around until the first home game. Although I had seen him go beserk listening and watching televised ND games over the years, I did not realize just how much sharing ND football with his son meant to him. He wanted more than anything to pass on the torch to me by attending a home game together.
He died at home few weeks later. We never made it to ND Stadium together, but the torch was passed--for Notre Dame and ND football to mean so much to a dying man, I knew that there was something very special waiting in northern Indiana.