Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Dear John,

I've been pondering writing this for days.  Bringing myself to actually write it has been tough.  Part of me feels like writing it will make everything even more real than what it actually is.  But the other part of me feels like if I put it off, I will regret it.  Isn't living a good life about not having regrets?  So, here we are.

I remember when I met you - not the exact date, but a rough idea.  It was the summer of 2008.  We met in the Mayes' garage.  We were fresh out of competitive gymnastics (i.e., just learning what it was like to have a life) and I don't know how you guys got roped into hanging out.  In all honesty, you and I didn't exactly hit it off.  I don't know that we actually disliked each other (well maybe you didn't like me, idk) but we weren't fast friends.

Our friendship grew over these last 4 years.  I can't pinpoint the exact date - again, however, I can tell you that the first year our boys played football was a turning point in our friendship.  We started talking more, just you and I.  We had some GREAT conversations.  During those summer practices, I learned a lot about who you really were.  I learned to understand you more.  

You and I, we're a LOT different.  Basically, we are almost polar opposites.  We have different beliefs and different interests, but for some reason, none of that matters.  If anything, it gives us more interesting conversations and even more things to debate.  

Two years have passed since the boys started playing football.  In that two years, you became one of my very best friends.  That may sound cheesy, but it's true.  There are very few people on this planet that I trust enough to pour my heart out to and can tell damn near everything.  YOU are one of those few people.  I know that what I tell you will remain with you.  I know that you will not judge me based on my sometimes silly decisions or actions.  I know that regardless of what may be going on, you are always there for me.

When you were diagnosed a year ago, I was crushed, to say the least.  This is not unfamiliar territory for me, but it is territory I would rather not travel.  I had a few talks with Phil and a long talk with another good friend about what to do.  I won't lie, a huge part of me wanted to run away.  I wanted to stop talking to you because I didn't think I was strong enough to walk this road with you.  Honestly, I am still not sure I am strong enough.

That said, I am not walking away.  It took me a bit of soul searching, but in the end, I knew I was in for the long haul.  I am still here, where I will be, right up until the end.

You are an amazing man, John!  I don't know if those around you realize how amazing you are and I quite often don't think YOU realize how amazing you are. I am sad that our time together is limited.  I am broken hearted that you have to endure this God awful disease.  I wish that I could make it all go away and that we could just go back to hanging out at the Murphy's playing stupid games and laughing about Lance and his leg shaking.  

I can't.  I can't stop any of it.  I can't even slow it down.  What I can do is promise you that I will love you until the end of time.  I promise you that I will hold your hand and be with you every chance that I get.  

Thank you.  Thank you for being my friend.  Thank you for loving me for who I am - as goofy as I am.  Thank you for accepting me.  Thank you for watching out for my kids and being a good friend to Phil.  Thank you for the endless laughs and the great times.  

From now until it is your time to move on, I will tell you I love you as often as I can!  I love you!


Wednesday, November 7, 2012

We're doing something right

All too often as parents, we question whether we're doing it right.  The kids sass us and have attitude problems and pout and whine and argue.  Those are the moments we unfortunately focus on way too much.  Then there are moments like the one I just had that make me realize that we are doing something right.

Many people have judged me lately and labeled me an awful hateful person.  That's ok.  I've even had people comment on my parenting skills.  That's ok too.  I don't expect everyone to like me or agree with me - whatever.  Here's the thing, you can say what you want about me, but obviously, I am doing something right (with Phil of course) in regard to my children.

The girl just did a phone interview with a local news guy.  He was asking her all about the state cross country meet.  She was fabulous.  She sounded all grown up (made me tear up a bit).  She answered all of his questions and made a point of talking about her coaches and team.  I was very proud.

Then came that moment that pushed me beyond proud to something even more.  She hung up the phone and said, "I don't know if I talked about the team enough.  I don't know if I made it clear to him how important the team and my coaches are.  Do you think I emphasized them enough?  I feel like it's been all about me lately, but it's really about all of us."

Seriously?  That made my heart swell.  She did, in fact, speak of her team and coaches.  I was proud of her when she was speaking.  I am so beyond proud of raising a child who, while she is proud of what she has accomplished, she is wise enough to be humble as well.  She did not get there on her own.  While she may have run the race on her own, her teammates were there screaming their heads off for her.

So, for all of you AMAZING girls on that team - Courtney, Abbey, Mariah, Brittney, Amanda, Leanna, Stacy, Emily and ALL of the other girls - please know that Megan (and the rest of the Kline's) appreciate you and all of your hard work and dedication.  YOU push her as much as she pushes you.  And Coach Stafford - you're one in a million!  We love you!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

By the numbers

So, I don't think some people actually understand the magnitude of yesterday. They ask how she did and I tell them she was amazing and got 92nd and they then say something along the lines of..."oh, well good job."  Like 92nd is a bad thing.  Let me break this down a bit for you....

92nd out of 228 girls in her division.  She was in the top 40%.  Still not impressed?

Ok, there was a grand total of 954 girls competing yesterday - that's all divisions.  She was 177th overall.  That's the top 18%.  Better?

In her division there were 40 freshman.  She was 18th overall. Once again, the top 45%.

How about this....there were 186 freshman and she was 28th overall.  That's the top 15%.

But let's take this one - there are roughly 595 girls cross country teams in the lower peninsula.  While a varsity team consists of 7 girls, only the top 5 scores count.  So, for the sake of argument, we're going to go with 5.  With all of those teams, that makes a total of 2975 girls attempting to make it to state.  Only 954 girls made it.  She was one of those 954.  That means she beat out roughly 2020 girls to get there.  How's that for impressive?