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A 2016 Great Strides Update

So, it has been a 10 days since our walk.  Sadly, this is the first time that I seemed to have been able to carve out some time to write.  It has been good, but we went from the crazy, awesomeness of the Great Strides walk right into working on a track meet/fundraiser that God orchistrated so wonderfully to bless our family (I’ll share details about that in another post).  So from the frying pan to the fire is what the last few weeks have felt like.  Blessed, but pretty hectic trying to shore up all of the details of the walk and then the track meet so close together.

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Each year the walk brings with it such a composite of emotions to the forefront of our hearts and minds.  This year was no different. I seriously can not even articulate the words to describe the range of emotions.  The emotions are everywhere from absolute total gratitude and unbelief that others care for our family in such deep tangible ways, to the heart that is overwhelmed thinking about those who have lost their fight with cf during the year.   The young faces that have not yet felt the fear of cf to the battle scarred face that  have already endured so much.  There is the joy in knowing that we are literally taking steps to make a difference for Rachel’s future and then there is the harsh, daily fear that the perilous road that we have already traversed is just the tip of the iceberg of things yet to come.  And, honestly, despite the joy and celebration of Great Strides day, there is a deep bit of fear that the strides we are working to make, might just…not be enough to save my girl’s life in time.  Like I said, such a spread of intense emotions.  Thank you for allowing me to be transparent with all that goes on in my mind during the walk.  Hope and future are on evident when I see THIS smile!

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Not sure why she choose to wear a cowboy hat for her walk, but I was glad that she did. She was easy to find with that fun hat

We are filled with HOPE
that we truly are on a road to
victory
OVER the cruelty of this disease~
coupled with the daily reminder
that we are definitely STILL
in a fierce battle for life and future.

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Loving my WARRIOR-GIRL

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Each walker represents a clear reminder of HOPE for us.  Hope that life will soon be different and better for my girl.  Each WARRIOR shirt we saw, was awareness of the fact that cf can not stay the same.  We won’t let it!   Our team sees our struggles, and knows of the pain that cf causes our family.  God is using all of this to develop our character and to point others to a God that cares and is able to HEAL!!   The friends at Great Strides represent so many “heart blessings” that can not help but seep deep into the soul and ease troubled spirits fighting to stay afloat with the uncertainty of the waves that CF throws at us.

I wrote briefly last week about my mama fail in not allowing Rachel to grasp the full magnitude of the people there to support her through the team picture time.  I am however, incredibly thankful for the many pictures that have flowed in that we are able to hold onto for a lifetime.

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Recap of the actual walk.

I was working really, really hard to not be emotional for the walk day.  I am usually a complete mess each year.  I rarely allow myself to experience the full gravity of this disease, it is just too hard.  Too raw to allow to the surface on any given day.  However, Great Strides is a direct…”you can’t deny  your  child is fighting for her life” type of day.

Walk day we usually arrive to a flurry of activity.  It is not till we stop that I often have time to ponder.  Silly, that it was when we stopped for the singing of the National Anthem this year.  Seriously, I got chocked up, “The land of the free and the home of the brave!”  (I could not help thinking of all that were there that WISH desperately for freedom from this disease BUT while they wait, they are among some of the bravest people I know.)  I pulled myself together quickly as we were trying to wait to find a place to enter the long line of people/teams walking by (we missed lining up as a team due to taking our team picture and then as the walk started, I was trying to keep Rachel safe and away from others that had cf).

The walk was wonderful.  I was able to chat with a few friends that I was able to catch up with (our team had split up into about 4 groups) which was a bit tricky.  I also enjoy trying to take pictures.  Unfortunately, this did not happen this year.  So, I am hopeful that others got some good pictures to be able to reflect upon for years to come. =

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After the walk I was trying thank our dear sweet friends that had come out Saturday morning to walk with us.  What is it about the words, “THANK YOU!” that can nearly bring you to your knees?  My heart bursts with gratitude, but in trying to utter those words… the emotion and tears unexpectantly surge to the surface.  I work to keep them in check, but the force, the gravity and ultimate reality that we COULD NOT save my child’s life without the people walking with us…is like a tsunami that no amount of composure can keep back.  We are broken.  We are humbled.  We are battle weary.  Yet, we have hearts full of hope because of those who stand in our camp.  Those who let us know that we are not alone.  There truly are no words that could adequately convey these emotions!  NOTHING!  ONLY TEARS flowing with the deepest gratitude that a mother’s heart knows.

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After the walk I was trying thank our dear sweet friends that had come out Saturday morning to walk with us.  What is it about the words, “THANK YOU!” that can nearly bring you to your knees?  My heart bursts with gratitude, but in trying to utter those words… the emotion and tears unexpectantly surge to the surface.  I work to keep them in check, but the force, the gravity and ultimate reality that we COULD NOT save my child’s life without the people walking with us…is like a tsunami that no amount of composure can keep back.  We are broken.  We are humbled.  We are battle weary.  Yet, we have hearts full of hope because of those who stand in our camp.  Those who let us know that we are not alone.  There truly are no words that could adequately convey these emotions!  NOTHING!  ONLY TEARS flowing with the deepest gratitude that a mother’s heart knows.

So while I may not have been able to actually say the words, Thank You, please know that they come from the depths of our souls.   The place where our hopes and reality collide.   The place where disease and warrior battle.  The place where our fears and triumphs wage war.

The place
where we dare…to dream
of TOMORROWS for our girl!!

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