Thursday, February 25, 2016

The Medal

Yet another one. Another one of the many special gifts Ruby has received from what I can only describe as her adoring fans. Just before Christmas we received a small gift bag in our mailbox. Inside contained a race medal and a very special letter to Ruby. 
Years ago, when Eli was a wee lad, he was on a baseball team with a mom who I've kept loose contact with since. Most recently we chatted about the preschool Ruby is at because her kids went there too (which I knew before we made our final decision). She's a runner who is always raising money for cancer research. She's dedicated miles and runs to Ruby in the past, as she does for many people fighting cancer. This time, she outdid herself.
Carri ran the Galloway half-marathon for Ruby this year. Here is part of her letter:
"...There were several moments when I wanted to stop...But I didn't stop. Every time my legs felt weak or my breathing was too heavy, I thought of you. On Sunday (the day of the race), you were finishing up your chemotherapy...Running a half-marathon is easy compared to being in the hospital, attached to tubes and wires for days at a time. The pain in my muscles is nothing compared to not feeling well, losing hair and being stuck inside a hospital room when you want to be...home with your family...I want you to have this medal...even though you still have miles and months to go, you are the real winner, the hero...You are fighting for the finish line every day. You inspire me to live life to the fullest every time I see a picture with your BIG, BEAUTIFUL smile...I look forward to seeing the pictures of you dressed up in costume, napping, eating lunch and doing all of the things that kids your age should be doing...I hope that you will wear wear this medal and be reminded of how strong you are and how much you are loved."
Such a cool reminder that there are so many times in life that we have the opportunity to inspire others. I always used to tell my (boot) campers: you never know who will inspire you and you never know you you will inspire. So true, especially with Ruby. She looks to other kids all of the time and tries to imitate their movements or their words, inspired by their abilities. All the while, she is unaware that all around her are people who know her story and draw strength from her.

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