Recently a friend posted a YouTube video link on Facebook that got a lot of attention.
People were talking about crying watching it, having a lump in their throat, being so moved by the power of love and perseverance. I didn’t watch it though. I couldn’t quite tell what the video was about, and the thumbnail image was a bit blurred and all I could see was what appeared to be a heartfelt embrace between two people with perhaps one person in tears.
That was enough for me to not watch it.
I am a sensitive soul.
Emotional imprints make permanent impressions. Add vivid imagery and those thoughts will constantly bombard me, and I’ll see those images everywhere. The reaction they invoke can be quite visceral as well.
In 2006 a co-worker sent me an email about not taking things for granted. What she didn’t tell me were that the embedded images were very graphic photos showing people literally starving to death. Photos of human beings at death’s door too weak to plead for release or abandoning their humanity in such primal, desperate attempts at survival that I have never spoken them. For me, doing so would rob them of what minuscule dignity was left them in their final days.
This is the first time I’ve articulated that moment. In four years.
So yes I am a sensitive soul.
I used to make apologies for it. Try to “toughen up” even though life through me enough foul balls for me to be absolutely sure within myself that my toughness was indisputable.
Something within the last few years has changed that. Something about the unfairness of the circumstances I faced during my pregnancy with my daughter. I embrace my sensitivity. I embrace my motherhood. I embrace my strength. I embrace my wisdom.
It’s a good place to be, making peace with yourself.
I count myself lucky to be making these discoveries at my young age. (ahem). I’m ready for the long run.
I did eventually watch that video. And it did bring a tear to my eye, but not at all in the way I feared.
If you don’t know the story of Derek Redmond and his 1992 run, this is a great introduction for you.
Even if you do, I encourage you to watch this video.
I think about my biological father. Who wouldn’t have been there to battle through security.
I think about my father-by-choice. Who would have.
I think about my father-in-law. Whose unconditional and enthusiastic support we found perhaps a little embarrassing once in a while, until we needed it. And knew we could depend on it.
I think about my husband who would have found a way to be on that track before security even realized he was there. Whose support is unwavering and unquestionable.
And I think about my children, hoping that they know that they are everything to me.
I fight the lump in my throat and think about my son, hoping that if he ever sees this, that he thinks about me. That he knows that I would be there. That I AM there.
And I think about all the parents out there running this race like Derek. You start off with confidence and optimism and you work hard at this thing called parenting. And some days you feel like just giving up. You stop and wonder at the world rushing by and wonder where you went wrong.
But you can’t give up.
You never give up.
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