Kara’s Collection: Limping to the finish

From an article originally posted May 21, 2013…

Monday is the beginning of the end. It is the last week of school and the last week of treatment. We are dragging, limping, struggling over the finish line. When the mom, the go-to cheerleader, organizer, keep-it-in-order person is down for the count, everyone struggles. We have had victories, but I must say we have barely made it. This year my kids earned grades that will never be quantified on a report card. Ella will spend her last week in elementary this week. My heart cannot take that in. Mickey said it well when she said how the little children in our home can escape to their imaginations. Together we are limping across the finish line of this school year, and I couldn’t be more proud.

I want to celebrate, but I’m tired. Deep tired. No words for it tired. We all are. I wanted to celebrate, party, dance, but I mostly just want to be done.

Mickey’s coming has relieved much worry and stress. She is a peace-giving gift we feel unworthy of every moment she gives to us so generously.

Last week I asked if I could have people join me in my last radiation as I ring the bell to mark the end of this journey. They were gracious and encouraging. I told them how I wanted my kids to see me do that. One sweet woman offered to show them the room where I receive treatment. I looked at her soberly and said I never want my kids to see the inside of that room. Radiation is a place for only patients, and my constant prayer is that they would NEVER know cancer. So I look forward to limping across the finish line with you all. Your prayers have carried me, comforted me, strengthened my resolve, and loved me.

We have had some hard won victories this year. Books finished, lunches packed, homework completed, responsibility for failures accepted. We have had relational victories, hearts shared, hurts revealed, tears shed. Our life has felt lived in the very important small moments. Yesterday the big girls and I went to have our nails done to celebrate Harper passing her timed math test and Ella having her graduation today. Jen joined us for dinner and we laughed and giggled and quoted Nacho Libre.

Tonight we celebrate the last day of elementary for my oldest. Gulp, double gulp. Big adventures to come. Thank you all for championing us to the end of this journey. We may not be finishing strong, but I promise we will finish. I hear all my college day speakers in my head: “Excellence, excellence, finish strong, excellence.” And I kind of giggle. I may have failed them, but I’m no failure. I have learned a new way to live and I think it’s excellent in its own way. In grace, in beautiful failure and repentance, in seeking joy in my moments, in not needing to be a winner/leader, but rather a dependent follower that has been humbled. Life has humbled us, and for that we are grateful.