In the beginning of the school year, Drew came home and told us about an after-school activity that he wanted to do. It was training for a Spartan Race. Ever since my first mud-run, Drew has been wanting to do one. A “real one” he said, not one of the little kid races he saw at The MuckFests I have done.
We agreed to it and he trained two days a week with two teachers from his middle school. Then, along came winter. And the school play. And training was put on hold. Once in awhile he’d bring it up, but never with much commitment. We did notice that he was eating much better, making smarter food choices and talking about protein and fat in food.
Last night…after us asking him for more than a month if he was going to do the race or not, he made the decision to run it. One of his friends, who was as indecisive as he was, decided as well and our families drove to the race sight together early this morning.
The actual Spartan race was a TWELVE mile race. The longest one I have done was a five mile race. The obstacles that I could see in this one were tough! The Kids Spartan was set to the side. It was one mile long and had about five obstacles. Drew and his friend met up with several other students from his school and one of their teachers and they did it. All at their own speeds, but each one of them finished.
I was never an athlete growing up, only starting to really exercise and work out when I turned forty. Now I enjoy it especially these mud runs so it was fun to see Drew find joy in something that I have so much fun doing! He has already aged out of the Kids Spartan for next year. Maybe he will want to do one with me at some point!
I got a text message from my sister today asking if I was able to take a call from her. Of course I knew that meant it couldn’t be good news if she couldn’t just text it to me. She told me that she received a call today from a hospital in Florida. My cousin Christopher had been in a terrible accident and she was his emergency contact. He has been estranged from our family for the most part, only communicating with my sister through Facebook and occasional text messages.
Chris is 39 years old and has many special needs. He has been living in Florida for over ten years, although he grew up here in New Jersey only a town away from us. He and I could not be any more different. I refuse to be in contact with him because he is a spiteful and hateful person and I don’t want to associate with that kind of negativity in my life. He treats his mom terribly and when I do succumb and give in and try to give him another chance, he just spews more hatred and I can’t be a part of that. His special needs could be a part of his “personality” but it still doesn’t make it okay.
He was on his way to the hospital this morning for a surgical procedure that he needed. Apparently, he stepped into a crosswalk when a bus made a left turn, did not see him and struck him. He has multiple fractures to his ribs, a broken arm, head lacerations and possible brain bleeds. He is on a ventilator right now and completely sedated.
My sister went to tell his mother, my aunt, in person this afternoon and although Chris’ relationship with her is very strained and complicated, she of course is devastated. She doesn’t know if she needs to fly down there and be with him and is waiting to hear about the brain scans before making that decision. Chris does have a power of attorney that lives in Florida who will help with decision making and she is on her way to the hospital and has been in touch with my aunt.
I find myself in a very difficult spot right now. I would never wish this upon anyone, and no one “deserves” this. I feel badly for my aunt and hope that he is not feeling any pain and is comfortable right now but I am finding it hard to feel a lot of sympathy and this is disturbing to me. Perhaps more pity or regret. I am not sure what this feeling is.
I am hoping that he pulls through this and recovers with very little pain and suffering. I wonder if it will cause a change of heart getting a second chance….
Here is a link to the accident, (although it says a man in his fifties – which he does look like….) http://www.gainesville.com/article/20150413/ARTICLES/150419893?p=2&tc=pg&tc=ar
Drew decided not to play baseball this year. He was going to be playing in a group of kids that are up to two years older than him and at this age, there is a huge size difference between 13 and 15 year olds! Drew is already on the smaller size for a 13 year old. We supported him completely but I have to admit, I was a bit sad to miss out on baseball this season. That is until he took it upon himself to take the town’s umpire course and become an umpire for the Spring Season.
He umped his first game on Saturday and asked us if we’d come to see it so Dave, DJ and I went to watch the game. His age group of umpires gets to call the games for the youngest group of kids, second and third graders. He told us that he was a little bit nervous and that he thought about it the whole night before but by the second inning, he seemed like a pro already. His voice got stronger, he seemed more sure of himself and the game went smoothly.
Fortunately, there were great parent coaches on both teams – I think that’s what worried him the most. Umpires are taught how to handle difficult parents, and that they are allowed to send them off the field if warranted. Glad we didn’t have to see that happen though.
So, my season without baseball didn’t happen. I am sure I won’t be going to all of the games, and for those I do go to, I won’t be cheering on a particular team, but now I can go and still support him and enjoy those Spring baseball days that I grew to love.
I love seeing things like this – #morealikethandifferent
On Sunday, when we all gathered at my grandma’s home for Easter, we noticed that she was a bit, “loopy.” Not quite herself and a bit confused. She is almost 100 though, so we didn’t think much of it. By Monday morning, she was extremely out of sorts and her caregiver, my dad, aunt and uncle thought it would be best to get her checked out so they brought her to the emergency room just to make sure. Fortunately, it is just a UTI and that is what was causing the confusion – that and being one hundred years old I guess. They have kept her a few days for observation and she should be going home tomorrow at some point. Today, I went to see her after school and it was interesting to watch. For the most part, she was completely lucid and knew exactly what was going on, where she was and why she was there. She even yelled at my dad, telling him he needed new shoes because he looked like a hobo in the “ratty ones” he was wearing. The one thing she couldn’t figure out was why my aunt took her back to the wrong room. They had gone for a stroll in the halls and she thought she was brought back to a different room and the entire time she kept asking us to walk her back. Even when we showed her the closet filled with her things, she just couldn’t get that clear. She knew she was in a hospital and why she was there, just not in the right room. She loved her dinner, which was fish, broccoli and sweet potatoes but kept asking my dad and I what we were having and why we wouldn’t eat with her. When I told her that Dave was home making me dinner, she told me how fortunate I was to have a husband who cooked for me, (she’s right.) So she really is, “with it.” I guess this should be expected at her age. She gets frustrated with herself and doesn’t like that her body isn’t working the way it should be. Her hearing aids were working great today and she could hear everything we said, and even talked to my uncle in Alaska on a cellphone – something she usually has a lot of trouble with. We showed her the family portrait from Easter Sunday and she could even see that clearly and with her bad eyesight, that was a surprise as well. She knows that the whole family is coming this summer to celebrate her birthday and knows enough to “worry” about where everyone will stay while they are here. We will work that out. We always do. It is good to see her thinking clearly….for the most part… I am glad this was something minor and that she is on the mend. We have a lot to celebrate this year and she is the reason for it so we need her around!! <3 <3
Take the Cake along with Covenant House New Jersey are planning to host an unforgettable prom night for the Covenant House kids in Newark.
Covenant House is the largest privately funded charity in the Americas providing loving care and vital services to homeless, abandoned, abused, trafficked, and exploited youth. Many of these young people have missed important life milestones and celebrations, like the high school prom.
I have been luck enough to work with Take the Cake, a local organization taking photos for a few of their events. I think that this project will be one of their best ones yet and I am excited to help spread the news about it.
To make this night a success for the kids, they need your help. No donation is too big or too small. They need flowers, dresses, tuxedos and more to make the dreams of these students come true. You can help them create memories by donating.
They have set up a Gofundme page to help with donations, http://www.gofundme.com/covenanthouseprom
Everyone deserves the chance to go to prom.
Getting back to the original intention of the blog. To share stories of kindness, whether experienced by me or by others. When I see inspiring stories, I will share, giving credit where credit is due.
I found this story on Upworthy.com. After some fans were furious about The Oakland A’s announcing LGBT Pride night, one fan bought all of their tickets. She will donate all of those tickets to a local Youth Community Center for LGBTQ youth.