Saturday, November 8, 2014

Manager of the Year!

Josh was given a plaque the other night at the Tualatin High School Football Awards Dessert.
"Manager of the Year!"

It was wonderful to sit on the bleachers
hearing coach praise him
and his efforts to serve the team. 

I wrote about Coach Hastin 
and how he made a life changing impact for Josh here: 
When Good Men Step Up!

It's all very positive
full of happy tears
and good character.

And I love it,
and I'm grateful,
but it's not the whole story.

There's the flip side too.

It's the side we keep quiet
and try not to focus on.

It's the chronic pain Josh deals with,
so bad sometimes that he can barely function.

It's the Ibuprofen and Tylenol that doesn't even touch it,
 the hot packs 
and the tears.

It's the picking him up from school, 
because he feels like crap
or the days I let him sleep it off, 
 or show up late, 
because he needed an extra long hot shower
to help him feel just a bit better.

Survivor-ship isn't for wimps.

It's the sadness my husband and I go to bed with
after a wonderful evening of  awards,
dreaming about what sport Josh would have been playing
IF he hadn't had cancer.

And we know it's futile thinking about the "what ifs",
but it settles into our hearts whether we want it to or not
for a time, 
until we push it out telling ourselves
to focus on "what is" instead.

And we remind ourselves:
we are the lucky ones,
Josh survived.

And when we hit this place,
just as we have before 
and will again,
we give way to grief,
just for a bit.

And we remind ourselves life is short,
it's unfair,
and it has meaning.

Look closely at that picture of Coach and Josh.

He went to school that day
for a science test, then his English class.
He came home and spent the rest of the day 
with hot packs, Ibuprofen, Tylenol and tears,
gearing up mentally for the awards dessert.

He knew he needed to go for his team,
 he pushed through the pain and went.

He didn't know he was going to get an award himself.
Manager of the Year indeed! 

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