I can’t begin to tell you how many times I’ve heard our situation described as “It’s a marathon, not a sprint”. True, it is a marathon. No doubt about that. It’s a marathon that really has no finish line. You just keep running and hope it’s not always uphill. You wish for a decline somewhere along the line. You never look up to see what lies ahead, or the landscape you see outstretched all the way to the horizon might just make you quit. Maybe even worse would be discovering that we’ve been running in a circle the whole time.
Now, I’m here to tell you… it is ALSO a sprint. Please hear me out on this one. Life, I learned, doesn’t always fit neatly into an sports analogy (to my dismay). It’s not categorized into events. Unless, maybe we are talking about Extreme Sports.
There is no such concept as pacing ourselves. Mainly because the pace is dictated by factors outside of our control. For me, at least, I came out of the starting blocks wide-open and have not broken stride in over a year-and-a-half. I run through the physical and emotional pain. I can clearly see and feel the toll it is taking on me. I’m not at all happy about it at all.
Still, it doesn’t change anything. Like most parents (I hope), I will not slow down, let alone stop, until I collapse. I will need carried away. My only concern is that I can hang in there long enough to see my family through this completely avoidable tragedy. There is no one to hand-off the baton.
Oh, and this marathon-sprint is also an obstacle course. There are hurdles and stumbling blocks littering the path. It feels like some families and agencies are throwing stones at me as I navigate through.
Sometimes I hear these rocks whiz past.