Have you ever just been so proud of your child that you cry? Well that’s me. I have been blessed with three amazing daughters who have become extraordinary women. Today was a day for the books with my oldest, and so it must be bookmarked by this blog!
My oldest daughter Courtney is one of the most amazing women I know. She has a heart of gold that holds out promise and hope for so many. She is always giving, always sacrificing, and always taking a back seat to someone else who might need to go before her. It’s really incredible to see the woman she has become. Courtney has a man she loves and the two of them have two beautiful boys, one who is 2, and the other 1. They bought a home while she was pregnant with her first, and soon after that came the second. These two boys steal my heart anytime I hear their voices, get their hugs or when we FaceTime together. But I digress, today I want to tell you about Courtney.
Not only does she work full-time from home, juggling children, housework, cooking, cleaning, keeping up with friends, sisters, family and dog, but she makes sure that the people in her life know that they are loved and cared for. Courtney has a special way with words, and a certain tone in her voice to go with her silly antics when she is in a teasing mood. But one thing that she has not really had time for, as any 31 year old working mother can attest to, is she has had virtually no time for herself. Courtney set a goal for 2017 to run a half marathon. It’s amazing to me that she had any strength to do it because her boys rarely let her sleep through the night and her to do list is never checked off of all her responsibilities. But she started running again and was determined to push herself to check this quest off her bucket list.
In her own words she described to me how one of the hardest things for her is that the list never gets checked off completely. That desiring to do something for herself, for her own personal goals never seems to happen. So she set the bar high and signed up for a half marathon.
She drove to my place this morning and I drove her to Jamestown for the race. She was nervous and it was cold and windy and dark outside at 6:15 am, but she had a smile on her face. The race was to begin at 7am starting at Fort Getty. But even though she did not have much sleep she was ready to run. Her attitude was right, she just wanted to finish something that she started, not to be perfect or outdo herself, just finish the race. My heart swelled with pride as I heard her speak these words, and I was so proud of her.
We arrived and it was cold and blustery, people were all over the place getting ready to run and eventually she lined up with the crowd and off they went. I knew for the next two hours or so she would be running, and all I could think of was I hope she was happy, I knew she would finish. After and hour and a half I went to the finish line and waited for her and cheered on other runners as they came in. I watched the faces of those who were giving it their final push to get to the finish line and I saw so much in their faces. There was pain and agony in some, joy and relief in others, determination, striving, emotions galore! And my heart began to well up as I realized how much this meant to my daughter, how hard she had worked for it, how tired she was, but determined as the day began, and I felt the anxiety of anticipation start to fill my heart. And then I saw her, in the distance. I had just gotten off the phone with her sister Katrina, who with a toddler and a newborn at home was anxiously waiting to hear how Court did.
And at the same time Whitney, her youngest sister was in Washington, D.C. on business, with the same anticipation. It was as if from 7am until we would see or hear from Courtney again, that the whole world was paused and we were imagining Court running, willing her to have the strength to finish well. This may seem unusual to you, but to us, this is the very essence of family, that bond that feels what the other is feeling.
And then the wonderful cheerleaders on the other side of the road from myself started cheering for Courtney as she came to the final steps and I watched her face beam with emotion. I had been watching so many faces as they approached, but hers was unique. It was powerful to witness and to feel, the joy was palatable. She’d done it, and done it in averaging 10 minutes a mile, which was fantastic!!
What a moment the aftermath was, different for all the runners I’m sure, each with their own goals to achieve for their own reasons, but for Courtney, the feeling of finishing what she had set out to do for herself was overwhelmingly joyful. Some space inside her soul grew 10 times larger today, and I hope she can rest and enjoy this wonderful accomplishment for a long time.
I love you my little Coco Loco! You are a machine!!! May your story inspire all those other young kickass mothers who have almost forgotten what it feels like to have a personal goal. You rock my world, since the day you were born my life has never been the same. I Love you! You are a shining star!! XOXOXO!
The Sarah Hale Folger Project seeks to inspire greatness in humanity by sharing inspiring stories with the world. Please contact me through my website at http://www.SarahHaleFolger.com
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