Last week was quite eventful...actually, just the last 4 days.
Matthew had an infection in a toe and after one round of antibiotics, I decided he needed to see a foot doc. Needless to say working in a hospital has some bonuses because I can get names of some of the better ones. So we went on Thursday and it didn't go necessarily as planned.
Bottom line, I have never heard or seen my child writhe in pain in that way. I would never, ever wish that one another parent. Never. Ever. His pain was more than I could handle and there was not a thing I could do but sit next to him and allow him to squeeze the life out of my hand. He just kept looking at me, while shaking his head, saying, 'No more shots. No more shots.' I would have LOVED for there to be no more shots, but that wasn't my call. So I just told him to lay back, take some deep breaths and just squeeze my hand. I bonded with my son during those moments...sent some fairly unpleasant thoughts my husband's way as he can take partial responsibility. And, then was able to laugh a bit at the end because the doc was that good. In the end, he lost a part of his toenail and now realizes the importance of 1) bathing and 2) good fitting shoes. Alas, his toe is healing just fine and he feels no more pain.
I was able to take the pain and use that to my advantage on Sunday when I ran my first full marathon. After mile 16, I needed all the strength I could get because every muscle in my leg, foot, ankle, lower body was hurting. I thought of the following things to get me through every last mile:
- my mom's battles with cancer and the pain she endured through radiation (2x). My 26.2 miles were NOTHING compared to what this woman has been through...what am I complaining about?
-Matthew's face... I went back to Thursday when he was writhing in pain and knew that I had to do this for him to show you can push through any situation and make it. No matter how bad the hurt. His contagious smile, smarty-pants remarks, hugs every morning and night and big heart are what got me through...truly. He is my son and I love him. He is an inspiration in that he wants to be a runner like Joe and I (not that we are professional or anything, but it's something we enjoy as a couple).
- Mark: just because of his big smile. I would picture his face and imagine a hug from him and I could run a few hundred more feet.
- My co-workers...the girls at MGMC. Unacceptable, is what one of them said...meaning she knows that not finishing in my mind was unacceptable (she knows me all too well). Inspiring...Amazing...Crazy...Rock Star (how fitting)...just a few of the words used by them that helped me get through. Why does/should that matter? It's not actually the words, but the people that got me through. Each of the girls has something going on in their life that is a struggle...so I ran for those struggles. It's up to us to face the mental challenge and mountain. Anyone can do it, as long as you put your mind to it and commit. Commitment. That's a word that many fear.
- My husband. Kept telling me how proud he was of me. I reminded him who started this family on this crazy running gig in life. He was there at the family reunion place when I finished...finishing before me because he had done this before. We both had the biggest smiles on our faces.
- My friends...because they are the ones who help me get through every day sometimes. Just little things they say or do remind me to keep going. Knowing we all face the same struggles in marriage, mothering and life is so good for my soul. I remembered all that I could and made a mental challenge for next time (maybe a half-marathon, not sure on the full again) to write them down and a reason I am running for them.
- My trainers...who not only have kicked my pants over the last few years.
- Last, but not least, for Newton. I figured there were 26 souls lost that one day in a matter of minutes. I ran 26.2 miles. I ran a mile for each one of them. Had their images in my head. Had their names written on a piece of paper in my pocket. 1 mile = 1 lost soul from Newton. I had to persevere through the pain because they will never have a chance to face such an adventure or challenge again.
And now, we get back to reality and look ahead to the next challenge. I turn 40 this year...and to celebrate, I am going to skydive. Likely won't happen until fall only because I want cooler weather, but I told Joe that is what I want to do for my birthday. Stay tuned for that adventure...