Saturday, September 17, 2016

Learning from life's lessons

Yesterday I had the opportunity to hike Mount Timpanogas, on of the Utah's tallest mountains.  It was extremely hard, exhausting, and very fulfilling.  I was feeling extremely proud of the feat I had just conquered.   I was excited to get home and get ready to watch my son's football game later on that night.  I wasn't expecting a win.  The team we were playing is the best one in their division.  I was just hoping and praying my son would do well, and not get injured. Typical mom worries.  The score was quickly run up by the other team, but the second half ,we came out and held them, caught up to them, and tied the game. So we went into overtime. They scored with their opportunity.  Now it was our turn.  Our first down was a dropped throw to our wide receiver.  Second down Mateen was handed the ball to run.  He pushed forward very close to a first down.  As I watched the pack of players close in on the tackle I saw the ball fall to the ground, and the other team recovered.  I was devastated, crushed, just sick to my stomach.  This wouldn't have been as bad if the previous week, a similar scenario hadn't happened.  We were up by four points with two and a half minutes left in the game, and Mateen fumbled the ball. They recovered, drove the ball down, and scored. Two weeks in a row. Are you freakin kidding me. I had done something so challenging earlier, and felt so happy for accomplishing something so difficult.  Only to feel so  devastated and sad.  I held it together long enough to get in the car, and that's when the tears started flowing. My heart ached for my son.  Why did he have to go through this again. What are the other kids on the team going to say? How will he be treated?  What are all the fans thinking, and saying?  I want to crawl into a cave with my son, and hide there for a week or two until this storm blows over.  But I can't.  What does that teach him?

Life is tough. We experience many different and difficult trials. Some physical. Some mental. Some spiritual.  How do we conquer and overcome? I had to conquer both physically , and mentally yesterday morning climbing that mountain.  My legs were burning, my mind was trying to rationalize with me, and convince me it wasn't a big deal if I didn't get to the top. I was close enough, and we were cutting it close to getting back home on time. I even had an amazing husband at home taking on my motherly duties for the day! I was coming up with all kinds of excuses to quit, but we pushed through, and made it.

A couple of years ago I faced one of my most challenging mountains ever.  You can't explain that blow you receive when you are told you have cancer.  Talk about a face plant. I couldn't run from it. I couldn't hide from it.  I had to face it, and hit it head on. We got through it once, only to be told it had returned, and that the mountain was even more difficult and challenging then the first.  I didn't think the mountain could get any bigger.  Let's just say mountains come in all colors, shapes, and sizes. Sometimes you just have to look right in front of you and put one foot in front of the other, and take it step by step.  You can't look up at the peak, because it seems so far, and impossible to climb.  But you can make it to the top.  You can conquer your mountain, by moving forward through each obstacle.  Learning from the difficult, challenging path that lies ahead. Cancer was extremely tough.  Physically, mentally, and spiritually.  Each day I had to make a choice on how I would battle it out.  What my attitude was going to be as I faced uncertainty. Sometimes I fell. Sometimes my attitude was negative, and I wanted to give up. I didn't understand what I had done to deserve this.  I had many pity parties.  But I guess that is where my competitiveness come in.  I wasn't going to let cancer win. I had to many things I still wanted to accomplish.  I had my children I wanted  to continue to raise.  I wanted to see them go to their first school dance, or watch them achieve their black belt.  I wanted to teach them to be the amazing person I know they will all be someday.  So I climbed, and climbed, and climbed, and climbed, and made it!!

No mother wants to see her children suffer or hurt.  We want to see our children happy, and have life go just the way we want, or think it should.  But reality is sometimes we fumble, stumble, mumble.  Our children have lessons they need to learn in life as well, and if they never fail,  they will never learn how to become who they are here to become. It will be difficult for them to reach their potential. They won't appreciate their success if it is always easy. I know my son is here to accomplish great things, and I hope to be a support, and example along his journey to the top of his mountain.  I hope I can teach him to press forward step by step, even if he falls.  That he can brush his knees off, and work hard to overcome.


  1. Adversity comes to us all in many different sizes and packages. Mateen will be fine. As parents we put huge burdens on ourselves when it comes to our children's highs and lows. I am guilty of this myself. Chances are he will fumble and stumble again. Oh well. He is a fine young man and you have taught him how to survive well. I promise you that you will look back on these days as painful as they are, and you will realize that his performance on the field is valuable, but not nearly as important as everything else that he is. Wish you the best, and hope you enjoy the ride. Blaine.

  2. I love your posts. And I love that hike, it's one of my all time favorites. Your kids are great people, I'm guessing Mateen's friends are great kids. They'll help him get through it. You are an amazing example of strength and perseverance. Thanks for sharing.💕

  3. Thank you. I needed that reminder tonight.