I could say that the past two years of my life have been a beatdown.
And I wouldn't be exaggerating.
My trust, my hope, my heart ....
have taken a beating.
How do you cope with life when everything is not how it should be?
When there is no foundation beneath your feet.
And two little children wake up every morning expecting to be loved, and cared for and comforted.
It ain't easy.
You learn a lot of lessons.
Many of which you would have been better off never needing to know.
But life ain't easy.
So you either cope, or you fail.
I don't know how other people do it--people who have found themselves taking care of children, much less a child with special needs, on their own.
I never expected to be in the position I found myself in last year, and I still sometimes wonder how it happened.
I also still struggle with how to deal with the challenges placed before me. But I do know that one of the biggest reasons I haven't jumped off a cliff is because ....
And ran and ran and ran.
What do you know?
This simple act of taking one step after another, pushing myself against my previous time, forcing myself to go one extra mile, telling myself that if my son could face the world with all of his challenges, then I could surely keep my feet shuffling along the pavement ....
It saved me.
I was never an athlete in my younger days.
I dodged balls thrown in my direction.
I would have liked to skip junior high PE in its entirety.
I always felt like I couldn't do anything even remotely athletic. I didn't even want other kids to see me run, because I thought I looked so incredibly awkward.
So what a surprise ...
I am running a 10K on Thanksgiving morning.
And I am so excited.
I have completed one half-marathon and three 5Ks in the past year.
And my times were nothing to sneeze at.
I can do this. I can actually run.
I love what running has done for me.
I love the tension that flows through my body when I wait behind the starting line.
I love the sense of accomplishment when I cross the finish line.
I love the mental challenge that comes with each race, the feeling that nothing can stop me but myself, that nothing can stand in my way as long as I decide to keep moving my feet.
Nothing .... can ..... stop ..... me.
It is a glorious feeling.
It makes me strong.
And I can use all the strength I can get.