On this very day, my life began… On this day I became the daughter to the most amazing parents I could ever ask for.
This post is all about them… because as we all know, fighting a tough battle is much easier with the support of family. And although my husband is an amazing teammate, one I would never be able to replace, he’s not the only one on my support team roster
My parents have always been the type to never miss a soccer game, hockey game, school event, parent-teacher night, graduation, prepping for an interview, doctor’s appointment or any other special event…and were ALWAYS there for absolutely anything I needed.
There were many years of Life that were lived as my OLD normal self, BEFORE disaster struck… And I think knowing how many years were spent playing on competitive soccer and hockey teams, and enjoying many adventures as an active family, is what makes all of this SO heartbreaking for us all.
For people who knew the ‘old’ me, it’s often hard for them to look at me the way I am now and wonder what the heck went wrong?!?
Even for myself, I can remember all the things I used to do way back until I was 7 or 8 years old…
But for my parents, they remember every single detail since the day I was born.
They remember the healthy and happy baby who grew up to be the healthy and happy teenager who continued on to be the healthy and happy 20 year old remaining active in many sports, and most recently witnessed the love I developed for Tennis…
I was on those courts almost every single day playing matches, taking lessons from my husband and playing tournaments.
The love for Tennis that I developed was not only for the game itself, but for everything else it brought into my life. It brought my All-Star husband and now my Superstar Son.
This time of year is ALWAYS the hardest time for me . The Tennis Club opens and everyone begins all the outdoor activities they love.
..and EVERY single year that I was unable to play, I ALWAYS thought to myself maybe next year… and then when that didn’t happen, I thought it’s okay, maybe the next year… Until I realized that what I’m facing is permanent damage and I’m likely not going to get on the tennis courts the next year or the next year or the next year after that, unless something major changes.
It is extremely difficult and emotionally heartbreaking not to be able to be on the courts playing the game I love with my family.
What’s even harder is knowing that there’s NOTHING more my parents or hubby want, than for me to be out there with them. And I know with 100% certainty, any one of them would trade places with me in a heartbeat if they could. (Which I would never allow 😝)
After 5 years of sitting on the sidelines yearning for the day when I’m able to play… I am fed up. I am fed up with waiting for something to change, I’m fed up with all the attempts at treatments which have failed, and although I am optimistic that in July I may possibly get stem cells that could be the turning point in my journey, I don’t want to wait anymore… I want to be on the courts NOW.
I told Joel just a couple weeks ago that I want and NEED to play tennis… I NEED to play even if it has to be in a wheelchair… 🙄😬
Lucky for us, we have a close family friend who has immense experience in coaching wheelchair tennis athletes and even has a chair available for me to try.
I cannot wait to get back out there! Although this is not the ideal way, it is better than nothing, and I’m grateful to have this opportunity… The opportunity to play in any way I can until the day I’m able to play like my OLD self again.
Now being a parent to Landon, I feel helpless during the times he simply has a needle or falls and scrapes his chin… As a parent you always want to be able to protect your child…and the feeling of not being able to take away their pain is one of the worst feelings a parent could ever experience.
But when you see your grown daughter suddenly go from running, working full-time, playing sports, and always being happy and pain free… to NOW barely being able to take a few steps and most often confined to a wheelchair with a level of pain they can’t even fathom or fix…
I can’t even imagine the magnitude of heartache and pain my parents must feel. 💔
The part that is the most difficult for me is knowing that I am the root cause of their pain. I know it’s not REALLY me… I know it’s the horrific disease.. and there’s NOTHING I want more than to be free of this illness so that they TOO can be free from all the heartache it creates.
Since my diagnosis my parents have been there for me literally every step of the way. They have researched for me, been with me at my appointments, cried with me, then laughed with me when crying felt like old news, encouraged me, have been patient with me, have loved me unconditionally, have ALWAYS been there to lend a helping hand when I struggle to make it up a couple steps.
They have been there giving me massages when I didn’t even know where my legs were in space because the pain was so bad…
They lived every single waking moment during the gut-wrenching sleepless nights.. and sometimes when I was so weak, I had to lean on both of them, because the strength of one of them alone was not enough to get me into my house.
And the ONE thing I’m pretty positive about, is that they likely cry behind closed doors because they don’t want me to see how much they are hurting.
But Mom and Dad, I know… I know because I am now a parent. And if Landon we’re going through something like this, I would be a HOT MESS, for lack of better terms.
I want you to know that I so appreciate the strength you show me, the resilience you instill in me, and persistence you display by always helping me to find the next ‘avenue of attack.’
You are the ones who have taught me what strength is all about, because on my worst days when I can’t help but break down and have a cry fest, you are only a text, phone call, or 5 min drive away, to pick me right back up and motivate me to keep on fighting the fight.
And as Grandparents… my Lord! We simply could not ask for better ones. You are the BEST Nonno and Grandma, and we know there is NOTHING that you wouldn’t do for us..
I say US because I feel Landon, Joel and I come as a package deal. Landon absolutely loves the days he gets to go to your house, and because of that I’m able to have time to rest…Because of you there are WAY less days I need to push myself to the point of exhaustion, and way less days Joel has to worry about racing home from work….Because of YOU, we ALL have a better quality of life.
If I can end up being half the parent you both have been, I will consider my motherhood journey a success.
I know this whole journey with MS is far from over, but I just want you to know how much easier you make it. We are all fighting this thing together and never do I ever feel alone not even now while you enjoy your vacation in Italy.
I always feel that I’m thought of, cared about, and loved…and I know having that support is going to get me to places I would never get to alone.
I know battling this thing from the side you sit as a parent is not easy by any means. It is probably one of the most difficult things you have ever had to go through in your entire life…
But I just want you to know that you’re KILLING it! You’re doing everything right, there’s NOTHING more you can do… and WE are going to beat this thing!
Thank you for being the strength I need when I’m way past the point of weak, and the breath of fresh air you provide when I sometimes feel way beyond suffocated.
There’s nothing more I can say other than this…
You are the epitome of “Once a parent ALWAYS a parent”
- And let me tell you, that are NO two parents I’d rather have! ♥️😘🤗
- #bestparentsever #myteam #loveyou #MSawareness #fightingthefight, #neverlosehope #burnfireburn