This morning was the CURE Childhood Cancer's Lauren's 5k/2k run and picnic. Our friends Emily and Chris organized a team to fund-raise and run in memory of their son Marco who died from a rare form of brain cancer this past Fall. Marco was only 9 months old. His time here was far, far too short. Team Marco raised over $10,000 for childhood cancer research and the morning was a wonderful way to honor Marco's life and support his parents. Emily and Chris hope to make it an annual event. We'll be there every year that we can. I sincerely thank all those who donated to my fundraising efforts.
On the 30 minute car ride to the event I said to Mr. Cob that I was glad we were doing the run. He said he agreed. And then we both started tearing up remembering why we were running. Then I started crying again as we drove up to the parking lot. People were wearing tee shirts encouraging a little boy or girl to fight through his or her cancer. Others had on shirts "in memory" of another child, and again I was reminded of why we were there. We were running because our friends' baby boy had died of cancer. I could only imagine how Emily was holding up. My heart was heavy especially for her this morning. Since September she's been a mom without a baby. There are no words to make that fact better.
I ran the 5K alone this morning - Mr. Cob stayed at the finish with Lukas and Emily and some other friends. We were running late so I barely made the starting line in time and wasn't able to meet up with Chris and the others from Team Marco who were also running the 5K. So I put my headphones on and started the race. And then as I was running, I began crying again. The race course was lined with signs and pictures of children, both alive and fighting, or others who were no longer here with us. The signs had words from loved ones telling their babies to fight and how proud they are of them. Or others remembering a 20 month old girls beautiful smile. A man in front of me had a shirt on that read "Growing up is hard enough without cancer." It all was very powerful.
I'm not sure if it would have had the same effect on me if I didn't have a child of my own. Or one who was only 3 weeks older than Marco. But the first thing I did when I finished the race was hug my little guy. And thank God that he is here with me and he is healthy.
Then I got angry. Angry at all the mommyblogs out there who write about how difficult their days are raising their kids. The Huffington Post made one blog Mommastery go viral with the author's post, Don't Carpe Diem, about how she doesn't like people telling her to enjoy these moments with her kids. And one of the top 25 Mommy Blogs out there, Motherhood, WTF regularly posts about how her son is driving her crazy. I know these blogs are meant to be cathartic for the writers, and to make other moms know that they're not alone. And I get that. This mom thing can be really hard. But this morning I was just thinking about how Emily and Chris would LOVE to have a difficult 5 year old boy to fight with every day. And I wondered where the love went from these moms. Are their posts overly exaggerated for effect? Or do they really not enjoy most days with their kids? I don't know exactly what I'm trying to get at. I guess I just feel like people take their lives for granted. We take our loved ones for granted. But the only certainty in life is death. We just don't know when.
So rather than complaining about our kids and finding their faults, I wish all moms could step back for a second and remember that our kids are a miracle. Remember that feeling you had the very first time you laid eyes on your child. Hug them. Laugh with them. Play in the dirt and ruin your clothes with them. Love them. Always and wholeheartedly love them. Because they're not guaranteed to be here forever.
A parent should never have to bury their child. But sometimes that is God's plan. And if your baby were to leave this Earth tomorrow wouldn't you want to know that you spent most of your days with them showering them with love?
I know I'm not perfect and don't always find love in the mundane tasks of motherhood. But this morning was a wake up call for me. I am lucky to have a healthy child. Hopefully I'll have many years on this Earth with him, but in case I don't, I plan on making the most out of each day I do get with him. Life is a gift and being a mom is the best thing in the world. Hug your babies tight and give them extra kisses tonight and every night. You just don't ever know when that kiss will be the last one you give.