“Honoring the life and spirit of my angel daughter—being the “the keeper of her legacy”—was not what I had signed up for as a father. But it’s what I got. Being a lifeline to bereaved families and empowering young women has been a way of turning my pain into love—and then giving that love away. Over time, it became my mission.”
I absolutely love that! It puts into words my feelings and strong desire these days…….to be the keeper of Elizabeth’s legacy. As her mother, I consider that a great honor and responsibility. I obviously didn’t chose this path, but it is the journey I have been asked to walk. It is true that you make a decision that these types of life events will either destroy you, define you, OR you can use it for good and perhaps with God’s blessing, something bigger than yourself or more than you could ever imagine happen! I therefore have made a deliberate choice to be a light of hope and encouragement to others and bring glory to my awesome God! May my broken heart be made bigger to make a difference in the lives of others and to tell Elizabeth’s story.
To give my blog readers some history…….Her Dad, Jeff Herro is a Texas alumni, Class of 81. He was in the Longhorn Band……one of the many Tuba’s. I went back to UT after a 25 year absence and graduated in May 2004 with my BA and a major in History. I am a Texas Ex Life Member. I made all my daughters go to my departmental and campus wide commencement. I told them that if I sat through all of theirs, they could sit through both of mine. One of the great things when you go back to college after such a long absence, is that you get to purchase a spouse sports package. So, in the fall of 2003, I bought a “spouse” sports package and Elizabeth attended the home games with me. We sat on the student side behind the band. Those are awesome memories for me. We would get to campus early, eat at Kerby Lane Café (pancakes!) on Guadalupe, shop, go to the Texas Union, and walk around campus. And of course, before and during the game, guys sitting next to us in the stands would flirt with her. I will never forget, a couple of young men asked her what class she was and Elizabeth smugly told them “a Junior”. The young men replied that they too were “Juniors”. I then leaned over and told them that she was a Junior in HIGH SCHOOL! They turned around and never talked to us again! Elizabeth told me: Geez, Mom….thanks. I laugh thinking about that now.
Several years later she would marry into a family that loved the Longhorns and held season football tickets. This would also be an opportunity to share their love of the Longhorns with their boys. They relished in the tail-gating, teaching them to flash the “hook ’em horns” sign, the band marching in, Bevo, in all things burnt orange! So, today, as a keeper of her legacy, I want to announce, that in honor of Elizabeth, Fischer and Benjamin and their love of the University of Texas, the Texas Longhorns, and the Longhorn Band, I had three memorial bricks placed at the Texas Exes Alumni Center! They were placed last week and I went to look at them today and couldn’t wait to share!
It seemed the perfect way to honor that part of their life. They are on the “home”/west side of the DKR Memorial stadium across the street at the Texas Exes Alumni Center. Below are the pictures:
You will notice that the bricks are in the same position as their resting place in the Salado cemetery. Elizabeth between her two precious boys…..Fischer on the left and Benjamin on the right. Some have asked me why doing this was important…….my answer? My heart tells me it’s right. It is a testament to their lives…….that they were loved, they made a difference and this is a way for a momma to honor and remember them. Always, always remember.
If you are on campus and want to find their bricks, go to the alumni center across the street from the home side of the stadium and look for this statue:
Stand in front of the center’s double doors. Look to the left of the double doors behind the raised brick wall on your left, you should see this:
You will find Fischer, Elizabeth and Benjamin’s Memorial bricks in row F2, column K:
So, if you attend a home Longhorn Football Game or down at the campus, I hope you go by the Alumni Center, pay your respects and think of Elizabeth, Fischer and Benjamin.
And lastly, to honor those memories, I created a video with those icons and reminders of this great place that Elizabeth and her family loved. I have included pictures of the University of Texas, music by the Longhorn Band and pictures of Elizabeth and the boys enjoying traditions of being Longhorns fans!
Here is Elizabeth and Hayes’ Longhorn wreath:
The Eyes of Texas are upon you…….
Until next time,