Sunday, February 26, 2006

Honored Hero Matthew

I am a chronic e-mail checker. I check my e-mail a million times a day, and I'm really not sure why. It isn't like I ever get anything that critical. Certainly nothing that couldn't wait a few hours, or a day or two. So, as is my routine, I got up this morning and checked my e-mail while I was eating breakfast. And sitting in my inbox, from a name I didn't recognize with the subject: Honored Hero Matthew, was an email that stopped me in my tracks. I opened the email to find a short message of support from Matthew, the 13 year old (or I guess I should say 14 year old, as he just had a birthday. - Happy Birthday Matthew!), who is my honored hero for the Indy Mini that I am training to run. Included in the email was a link to a website that Matthew's mother has been keeping of Matthew's battle with ALL. I went to the website and literally spent 7 1/2 hours sitting in front of the computer today reading every word she wrote from the day she started the site through the final posting today. What a touching and heart wrenching experience. I laughed, I cried, and I asked Why? a million times. But you know what - she never did. Never once in all those posts did she ask Why her son? Why her family? And that amazes me. As I was reading about their battle, I had a million thoughts running through my head - mostly guilt. Here I am complaining about a little pain from running or struggling with motivation to go out on a run, and Matthew is running cross country meets the day after chemo. He's struggling with pain, and nausea, and vomiting, and rashes, and unimaginable things, and I'm whining that my knee's aching a little and I have to take a few motrin. It makes me feel guilty for not being thankful that I'm healthy. I'm fairly stressed out right now because I feel overwhelmed with the volume of stuff that I am trying to deal with. And Matthew's mother is juggling her life which includes a husband, 4 children - one with leukemia who is on constant chemo, and a job. And she's been doing it for more than 5 years. How? She must be an incredible woman and Matthew is an incredible kid. I read about all of their struggles, and I feel like I am not doing enough. I read about all the blood and platelet transfusions that Matthew has had and feel guilty that I don't give blood. I think about all the expenses that their family must have and feel guilty about complaining that my medical insurance just went up again. I think I've gotten my dose of reality. My life really is very very blessed. I should take more time to "stop and smell the roses." I've added a link to the right if you are interested in reading about Matthew.

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