It was 1975 with less than 30 seconds on the clock, quarterback Roger Staubach of the Cowboys closed his eyes and said, “Hail Mary.” If you haven’t caught on yet every feature image that has been on each story represents the theme of the topic I talk about. This week’s story is not exactly my own story, but rather a story of my grandfather and his “Hail Mary” that ultimately led to my life.
My grandfather is originally from a country in Africa known as Nigeria. He was born and raised there along with his siblings and their mother. If you’ve never been out of the country, I recommend you go even if it’s for a little bit. However, getting back to the story my grandfather’s family at the time did not have much. There wasn’t enough room in the house for every sibling and life wasn’t easy, especially after the death of his father, leaving him as the oldest of all his siblings and having to take care of his mother along with everyone else.
The thing about life is there is eventually an upside. He met my grandmother sometime in his twenties and at this point, he knew he wanted a better life for his kids and the family he was trying to build. So he began sending application after application to the American government in hopes to somehow get granted to go overseas to America. Although everytime he sent one in a deny was sent right back with it.
After trying this for awhile a friend of my grandfather told him about an American doctor that was coming to the area. He knew immediately if he could get an American to back up his application he might have a chance. Skipping ahead in the story he was able to get the support of the doctor, but even with the support of an American citizen, he was not able to get the rest of his family approved. He asked the doctor what else could he do to bring his family. The doctor responded, “citizenship.” At that moment my grandfather knew what he had to do. He knew it wouldn’t be easy or even a fast process, but he was ready for the challenge. Within weeks after making his decision he said his goodbyes to his mother, siblings, his wife and kids and began his journey to citizenship.
There’s a lot more to his story but to sum it up, it is now the year 2017 and he has brought the majority of his family to America, even now there are still some he is fighting to bring here. The chance that some stranger would listen to the plea of a random 20 something-year-old man. Or that same man putting himself through college and working at the same time. Or how about the even less likely chance of bringing his family to this country with him.
When Roger Staubach uttered the words “Hail Mary” he didn’t know someone would catch the ball. If anything he thought, “this is it.” But, even in that moment, he put everything he had into that throw and because of that, he won the game. A hail mary isn’t just throwing for a random target. It is putting every ounce of hope and hard work into one thought, reaching your goal. Roger Staubach knew this that day and so did my grandfather.