This past weekend, the kids participated in a 1.2-mile run. This was the 4th year for my son and the 1st for my daughter. Before the race, I told the kids to run at a nice even pace; otherwise, they might regret the outcome. My son knew what I was referring to because last year he went out too fast and came pretty close to hurling after he finished.
Since I volunteered to help, I had the luxury of being right at the finish line to watch both kids finish. As I waited, I kept glancing at my watch so I could anticipate when the kids might come across the finish line. At roughly, 6.5 minutes I see my son coming in at full speed with his eyes closed and head tilted up to the sky. My first reaction was, “Welp, he did it again, he’s going to hurl as soon as he crosses the finish line.” However, he finished strong, gave me a high five and then wandered off to cheer on his friends.
It wasn’t until much later in the day that he told me why he had his eyes closed towards the end. He said he was listening to Mommy cheer him on.
Five days earlier, the situation was entirely different.
Evenings are tough for us, and that’s typically when one or both of us have an episode or emotional breakdown. This past week was difficult for him, and I spent three nights holding him while he wept until he fell asleep. During one of those episodes, he said, “I talk to Mommy every day, I miss her so much, and I just wish she’d talk back. Why doesn’t she talk back?”
My heart ached just hearing him say those words. It still aches.
My only response was, “She will when the time is right. Until then, just keep talking to her.”
Although she is no longer with us physically, her spirit and voice still live on in us. A subtle whisper some days, loud and boisterous others, cheering us on, telling us that we will get through this obstacle and that she’ll be there in spirit every step of the way. It’s an arduous journey, but I’m confident through her spirit and love that good things will come out of this pain and suffering.
I learned a lot from my son on Saturday.
I learned that when you’re at your lowest, don’t allow grief to keep you from moving forward but to close your eyes, look up for inspiration and finish strong.