AUTHOR: Carolyn Savage | POSTED: October 29, 2012 | COMMENTS: 6 Comments
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.