Last week was an exhausting whirlwind of a week. This week proves to be even more of a whirlwind. I'm steeling myself for it with the promise of June and SUMMER. I can do this. You will not beat me, May.
Saturday was the Epilepsy 5k, which we did last year. I feel guilty because I didn't throw myself into fundraising like I did last year. My attention was on campaigning for the referendum that our school was trying to pass (which we lost. by 4 votes. DO NOT GET ME STARTED) and I will admit that fundraising fell by the wayside. Life is just so busy now. Luke is playing t-ball. His science fair was Friday night and that was honestly our focus all week. Although we did the research well in advance, we left the poster board until this week (rookie mistake). Since it was his science fair project, I let him do most of the poster board, except that he obviously couldn't type. Friday was hectic. I left work, ran to the grocery store to get stuff for his science fair and sides for the picnic to have after the walk, then straight to Luke's school to set up for the science fair. We didn't get home until 7, then I had to get things together for the walk.
I didn't find us a sponsor for shirts this year, so I bought shirts out of my pocket for the newcomers to the team. In hindsight, I probably could've found us a sponsor. I just didn't try and that's my fault, but buying shirts is the least I can do for those who do so much for us. Who give to a cause where their only connection to it is my son.
Like I said, I was so focused on campaigning for the referendum that the walk became secondary. Still, we managed to raise $1305. This is a lot less than we raised last year, but last year, I was very much actively fundraising and Tommy's epilepsy was not as managed as it is now. We also had more team members, many of whom raised a couple hundred dollars each. I'm proud to have raised over $5000 for the epilepsy foundation in the course of these two years.
I am beyond proud that despite how busy our lives are these days, despite two members of our family being at a t-ball game, we still made time to walk.
Maybe next year the weather will be nice?
When I started training for this 5k, I really wanted to race it. Even though it's untimed, I wanted this to be my comeback with regard to my injury. However, my feet have flared up for the eleventy-billionth time and have been an absolute wreck for the last week and a half. It hurts to walk, let alone run, so I haven't been running at all. I wasn't even sure if I was going to run, but I decided to give it a try and walk if I needed. The course was at beautiful Cantigny Park and wound past trees and flowers. Once I settled into an easy pace, I was so happy. There weren't many runners, just hundreds and hundreds of walkers, so it was peaceful. My feet were sore, but seeing kids in wheelchairs who are unable to walk at all because their epilepsy is so bad puts it in to perspective. So what if my feet hurt? I can RUN. The course was hilly, with a really steep hill just after the halfway point. A few people dropped to the side to walk, but I pushed myself up it and kept going, only to find out that the course looped around and made you go back up the hill. The second time I was mixed into walkers and a woman hit me in the face while she was taking off her sweatshirts. This made the hill even more fun! Soon, I was out of walkers and rounding the corner toward the finish line. Since I was going at such an easy comfortable pace, I wondered if I even wanted to push it, but I did and gave a double fist pump at the end. It was, by far, my most enjoyable 5k. I didn't race it. I didn't push myself. I didn't care at all about the numbers on my watch. I just enjoyed it. I watched the scenery go by. I read the facts about epilepsy on the signs throughout the course. I learned what the money raised for the 5ks does. I thanked all of the volunteers, which I don't usually have the breath to do during a 5k. Maybe I need to do more 5ks like this.
Afterward, I walked back to the last turn in the course and waited for the rest of our team, where I was stalked by wild turkeys (did you know that I'm afraid of turkeys? Cuz I totally am). Shelli, Martina, Lily and Tommy were the first to arrive, so I finished the course (again) with them and we waited for everyone else with cheers, then had a very cold picnic, followed by the kids playing on playground for, oh, four hours due to my sister falling and requiring an ER trip and stitches (she's fine!).
With the walk yesterday and for awhile now, I kind of felt like, should we be there? Because we've been over a year seizure free and he's no longer on seizure medicine, but then I saw a team with a sign that said seizure free since 2010 and I smiled. Of course we should be there because even though we it may not be a part of our daily lives NOW, we will always be touched by epilepsy. Always. We will always be a part of this community, a part of the community of parents who know what it's like to be so powerless against a disease you cannot predict. I will always remember the moment that I first held my seizing child in my arms and my heart stopped and stopped and stopped, and even though you never know what each day will bring, I realize that my God, we are the lucky ones.