Being a Mom has taught me so many things. I’ve narrowed it down to 14 for today.
Ethan turned 14 on Easter Sunday. That means I have been a Mom for 14 years. Actually that means I have been a biological mom for 14 years.
When Kent and I married back in 2000, I became a stepmom to 10 year old Ben. I still remember him asking me to bake cookies for his 4th grade class for his birthday that first year. Oh how it warmed my heart. I became a mom for the first time in that moment.
Half marathon training. You can find numerous plans to follow. Because I’ve done numerous half marathons, I’ve followed all kinds of schedules. In the end, most have been successful. I’ve trained hard and had some good finish times (for an average runner like myself). This half marathon, however, is not about a finish time. It’s about people. It’s about a boy and his mom.
I’ve run 56 half marathons. All for me. The first goal was to break 2 hours. Next it was to see how much better than 2 hours I could get. Then it was to train to get the 1:45 finish time. Then how many can I do in a year? It was always Me, Me, Me. Me against the clock. Me adding another finisher’s medal to my collection.
Finally this year, one of those half marathons will be different….
About 4 years ago, a seed was planted in my heart. I really didn’t know it at the time or that I would be compelled to share that moment with you now, but here I am. I must say, it’s embarrassing to share this selfish part of me, but I have to tell that part to let you know why I’m running a half marathon in Chicago on May 22, 2016 with Team Momentum.
It was a Sunday morning, and I was feeling bad about myself. Thoughts like “Poor me…. I don’t like what I’m wearing. I feel fat. Why do I have this struggle?” were going through this almost 40-year-old woman’s mind. (Oh, and did I mention I was sitting in church??) I remember exactly where I stood thinking those thoughts when Mary, mother of a young Samuel who had been diagnosed with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, walked by me.
At that moment, my heart was checked.
This mom has been told her son has a disease that if a cure isn’t found will claim his life way too early. She had a smile on her face. I have a healthy son, and I was having a pity party in my mind. It brought me to tears. Tears of repentance for my self-centeredness and tears for this mom.
I’m ashamed to admit my shallowness, but that moment has stuck with me. And over the years, I’ve seen that young boy go from crawling around on the floor to a walker and now confined to a wheelchair. And my heart goes out to him and to those who battle this disease.
But what’s really fueling this run for me is his mom….and all the moms who have to watch their children fight this battle. Being a mom is hard enough in the best of circumstances. What is it like to see your child struggle with something you can’t fix or take away?
I can’t say that I know what Moms like Mary go through knowing they can’t take away their child’s pain. I can only imagine.
So I’m doing what I know and what I can, and that’s run.
Raise some awareness.
I can raise some money*.
And certainly I can pray for her and for Samuel and for their family and others like them.
Do you need to switch a focus or a priority in your life? Sometimes we need to evaluate our fuel source.
*If you’re interested in learning how you can make a donation, please click here. (Link updated September 2018 as I am running a virtual 5K to raise more funds for this cause that remains near and dear to my heart.)
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