A reunion that never gets old

Published 10:02 am Friday, November 5, 2021

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Could you imagine going a year without your dad around as a freshman in high school?

Sadly, some do have to experience lives without one or both of their parents, and as much as some of us think we can’t wait to get out from under our parents’ watchful eye, we eventually realize how much we love them and wish we could go back in time.

Fred Grooms Jr. got that realization at midfield of Husky Stadium at Helena High School on Monday, Oct. 18.

As one of the captains for Helena’s junior varsity team during one of their final games of the season, he walked out to midfield thinking his dad wouldn’t see him play a game this season.

That, however, quickly changed.

When he got to midfield, the officials asked the players to look around at each of the officials and remember their faces for the game.

Grooms started looking around, shifting his eyes to each official before then taking a second glance.

That’s when he noticed his dad’s smile.

Fred Grooms Sr. let out a laugh as his son finally recognized him dressed to the nine in his referee uniform he bought earlier that morning.

Grooms Jr. then ran and jumped into his dad’s arms as they hugged as tight as they could for 20 seconds.

The special moment occurred after Grooms Sr. decided to ask for early leave from a year serving in the U.S. Army in Kuwait.

The longest he had been away from his son since he was 5 years old, he arrived home the night before but kept it a secret until he could surprise him ahead of one of his son’s final football games during his first year of high school.

It was a special moment that took collaboration from Helena High School head football coach Richie Busby, the officials for the game and Grooms Sr.

All the effort became worth it when the two met at midfield.

Normally a reserved student who doesn’t show much emotion, the moment Grooms Jr. saw his dad, that all went out the window.

When the two hugged, you knew just how much he loved and missed his dad.

It showed a vulnerability none of us should be scared to show.

If we have both parents, we are so blessed, even if we have one parent, we’re more fortunate than many in this world, so realizing that is special.

We’ve seen these reunions before, and each time, they bring a tear to our eye.

They never get old.