Persevering through Disappointment with A Plan

AUTHOR: | POSTED: October 29, 2012 | COMMENTS: 6 Comments

Carolyn Savage

Last week started off challenging and ended with a dud. 

When I say challenging I don’t mean the kind of challenges that inspire me to get off my rear and accomplish something.  No.  These challenges were the kind that made me want to crawl back under the covers.  I did that a lot during 2010–crawl back under the covers.  Sleep became a retreat because my brain would turn off curtailing angry thoughts about the “what-ifs” and “whys” of my journey.  Looking back on it now, I realize that during my waking hours I was productive but preoccupied, not fully focusing on the minutes in front of me.  I’ve promised myself never to live like that again.  Time is to precious and goes by to fast.

That being said, last week was marred with pesky upper respiratory infections that required four of our seven to start popping pills.  I was the last victim, sucking up my pride and returning to the scene of one of my most embarrassing moments–yes–urgent care.  I did everything I could to deny my illness, but come Friday night when I nearly drove off the road while coughing up a lung, I recognized I possilby needed a drug or two.  Mama was sick, and when Mama is sick our house can go to hell in a hand basket in about two minutes flat.

What was even worse, was I knew at that moment, if Drew had what I had, his cross country race on Saturday was going to be a bust.  I know that doesn’t sound like the end of the world, but it was a big deal for our eighteen year old son.  Ever since his diagnosis with a rare parasite this past August, he hasn’t run like the athlete he is.  Infection after infection has ravaged him, jeopardizing his dream of running in college.  Saturday was regionals, and he needed to make it to states.  Redemption was necessary to rescue his chances.

Boys at the start. Ryan in striped hat. Drew in blue hat.

I stood nervously at the finish line, waiting for him to come into sight.  I couldn’t even look.  I was staring at the leaves on the ground when I heard the crowd cheering and willed myself to look up. I counted.  He had to finish in the top fifteen to advance.  When I got to sixteen runners and he was no where in sight, my heart cracked a little for him.  Still, I forced myself to take pictures of what I knew was my son’s last high school race.  And waited. 

Drew at finish.

He finished 50th. 



Disappointment is tough.  Watching your child’s dreams float away is tougher.  

At moments like that, perspective is important.

I realize that there are far worse things in life than your kid potentially losing a chance at a collegiate running career.  Hell, recently my Facebook feed has been clogged with images of sick children.  Babies fighting cancer or rare cruel diseases and stories of their parents grasping at prayers and hope.  Yes, an annoying microscopic bug called cryptosporadium has reaked havoc on Drew’s health, but he’s not dying.   I have a house to go home to and Sean has a good job.  I know I am lucky.

Disappointment is something that we all have to work through and just because I’m bummed doesn’t mean that I’m not grateful.  Disappointment is temporary if we make it that way.

Thank God Drew has learned that.


I waited a bit to go speak to him after the race.  I know him enough to give him some time to process his situation–or more accurately get a hold of himself before he says something ugly.  He’s like me.  (He’s inherited my sharp tongue in the face of loss.)

About forty minutes after the race, I saw him running back to the tent.  I’d been tending to Ryan who also had a bad race.  Not because he was sick, but instead he’d fallen and gotten spiked in the hand by another runner’s cleat. 

Ryan at start…mud free.

Ryan at finish, his right side covered in mud. Saturday just wasn’t our day!


  I told Drew how sorry I was, but then asked him where he’d been. 

Oh.  I went to talk to Mr. B.  He’s going to train me for the Foot Locker race next month.  I need to get it together.  I’ll be better by then.


Mr. B is a family friend and a running guru.  He’s helped Drew come back from injuries before with stellar results, and apparently Drew already knew what his next move had to be.  He let no grass grow under his feet and found another path.  He was definitely disappointed but wasn’t about to dwell in it. 

He’ll find another way. 

Alrighty then.


Sometimes I wonder about how our crazy journey has impacted our boys.  I’ve held hopes next to worries wondering  how they will look back on these years when they are adults.  I’m not one to fool myself.  I know there have been tough and confusing times for them.  That’s why I’m grateful for little glimmers of hope that lead me to believe they have learned something about persevering through unfortunate circumstances. 

I’m proud of them.

Now, onward.


After the boys’ district race two weeks ago.






6 Comments on “ Persevering through Disappointment with A Plan ”

  • Beth Noe June (Facebook Comment) | October 29th, 2012 1:27 pm

    So often, our children teach us the greatest lessons. Blessings to all the Savage family

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  • Mary Schanberger Hennessy (Facebook Comment) | October 29th, 2012 1:28 pm

    Mary Schanberger Hennessy Love this–reminds me of my daughter tearing her ACL with a cruel shot from the side that she never saw coming. Watched her basketball dreams for college float away in an instant–one of the few times I have seen tears run down my husband’s cheek–our hearts break for our children’s dreams…

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  • Teri | October 30th, 2012 9:04 am

    What a great outlook your son has! I’m glad he could get past this race and look toward the Foot Locker run. Good for him, he’s got great parents. 🙂

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  • Carolyn Savage | October 30th, 2012 9:34 am

    Thanks, Teri. Sometimes I wonder where he gets “it” from. He was definitely calmer than I was in that moment! And, as always, thanks for reading and keeping me laughing over at!

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  • Kathy | October 30th, 2012 11:23 am

    What a moving post C! I am so sorry that things didn’t I as Drew or you hoped. But I am so impressed with how he handled the outcome, himself and that he knows get he will do next, as not to give up on his dream. Sounds a lot like his parents/role models way of dealing and coping when life hasn’t gone as you hoped/planned. Good work Mama! xoxo

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  • By Word of Mouth Musings | October 30th, 2012 8:52 pm

    It really is all down to perspective … and love yours on this xxx

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