03 August 2008

Roll Tide, Johnny!

I just logged on to tidefans.com (one of my daily rituals) and saw that John Mark Stallings passed away yesterday. I know that the Stallings family feels the sadness and grief that accompanies the loss of a loved one, but at the same time, I know they are rejoicing in the fact that Johnny is now in the angel's chorus in Heaven singing wonderful praises to God. The Stallings have such a tremendous faith.

John and I got to meet and hear Coach Stallings speak several years ago at a fund-raiser for Alabama Christian School. He is such an inspirational man! John had gotten me the book Another Season: A Coach's Story of Raising an Exceptional Son for Christmas one year. I took it with me that night hoping I'd be able to have Coach Stallings autograph it. He did, and it is one of my prized possessions. Yes, it is just a book signed by a man, but the story is just so much more than just a story. If you have not read it, I urge you to. In it Coach tells of how he and Mrs. Ruth Ann were encouraged to institutionalize Johnny, but they refused. They were able to spend 46 wonderful years with their son.

Johnny will be missed by his family, and that includes everyone in the Bama Nation.

Roll Tide, Johnny, and Yea, Alabama.

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