My heart was so full this past Saturday.
Saturday was the first walk in Salt Lake City held by the Childrens Tumor Foundation in support of Neurofibromatosis. I have been volunteering and helping prepare for the walk but had planned all along to have to miss the walk itself as we knew it would be during Parker's football game. However, the closer the walk got, the more I felt I really needed to take Caleb and let him participate.
As many of you know, Sunday, October 2nd, was our sweet daughter, Bailey's, birthday. She would have been 3 years old. In honor of her birthday, Parker's football team was planning to wrap their cleats in purple tape for their game. We were all so excited. I really wanted to be at the game to support Parker (if you have followed Bailey's Journey you know that Parker is the one that has really struggled - and still does - with the loss of his little Sister). In addition to the expected emotions of the weekend thinking of my baby girl, the emotions of the "unknown" of what will happen with Caleb and NF, being very worried about Chris who had been in the Hospital the day before with chest pains, etc, I was struggling so much with having two very important places to be at the same time. This is where the blessings begin.
I finally made the decision that we would go to Parker's game. I was still feeling bad because I wanted Caleb to be able to participate in the walk, but I also knew that there would be other opportunities and, honestly, he really didn't understand what the walk was and what it was for anyway. Still - I felt very emotional about my decision. My beautiful niece, Heather, and her Princess friends (they do Princess Parties) had graciously volunteered their time to come to the walk and visit with the kids for "entertainment". When I called her to give her the name of the person she would need to look for since I would not be going to the walk, she asked if she could take Caleb with her and the Princesses. Such a sweet thing to do with an already full plate and such a weight off of my shoulders. Maybe everyone could get to where they needed/wanted to be after all. Caleb went with the Princesses, had a great time at the walk, and then my Dad picked him up after and kept him until I could get finished at the Football game. Like I always say .. what would we do without family?
Next event causing my heart to overflow ... the Football game. Unfortunately, the tape that we had called and had held at Sports Authority did not end up being what we had asked for. When we got there late Friday night to pick it up, it was too late to do anything about it. However, Chris took what we had to the game Saturday morning and between him and some of the other Parents, all of the boys had their arms wrapped with purple in honor of Bailey. What a great feeling! Again - for those of you that have followed Baileys Journey, you know how much of a part Parker's Football Team played the year we lost Bailey. They were AWESOME! Football is such a family to us. This is one of the reasons why I get so emotional at Football Season. I had been so looking forward to having my little cheerleader with me at all of Parker's games. She was going to help me yell for him .. she was going to be his good luck charm. I miss that so much but Parker knows that she is watching from Heaven - yelling at him to "Work Hard" just like Caleb does from the sidelines. Having the Coach give Parker a chance to tell his new team mates about his little Sister at the Pep Rally on Friday night and then having them all wear the purple for the game meant so much to our family.
And it didn't stop there ..
Within the first 5 minutes of my arriving at the game, one of the other players Moms came up to me and gave me a big hug. How could she know how much I needed that? It meant the World to me. Someone that I hardly know (this is a new Team and we are still getting to know the other Parents), showing this friendly gesture. So much appreciated!
The game was rough .. we knew it might be a tough one .. and we ended up losing 19 - 0.
Parker played his best, though, and did end up winning 2 of the Coach awards at the end of the game. Again - something that made my heart so full and my tears stream down my cheeks.
I am sure that everyone thought I was crazy to cry over my boys awards .. but that was just one piece of my emotional puzzle. It wasn't about the awards - all the boys played hard and were just as deserving ... it was that there was a little bit of happiness in my boys day that day - and that is what mattered to me.
All of these little acts of kindness made this usually unbearable day a great day for me. Was it emotional? Yes. Did I still struggle at times? Yes. Do we all still miss our sweet little Bailey? OF COURSE! But we are healing .. and it is getting easier. And we have our Friends and Family to thank for that.
We love you all! Thank you!