In case you missed it, I am the mother of a heart warrior. What does that mean? It means that my daughter lives with a permanent, rare, extremely serious heart condition. It means that she will continue to battle against this condition, every day, for the rest of her life. It can be daunting, but as usual, my heart warrior has a way of putting things in perspective.
Like last weekend.
I have a little girl (same one) who loves the Strawberry Festival that comes to this area every year in the spring. She talks about it from the day after she attends until the day she gets to go again. She saves up her money. She arranges her schedule. She makes endless plans. I am at a loss for words when it comes to describing how much attending this festival means to her. I might call her borderline obsessed, but she’s not really. She just loves how carefree she feels when she is there.
The Strawberry Festival is not something that I particularly enjoy. I do, however, love a good amusement park. I’m a big fan of the rides that involve some form of free-fall. I have been known to enjoy a roller coaster or two. I even like the rides where you get doused with a wave of water at the end. Unfortunately, I don’t feel the same about the smaller, slightly more grungy forms of park amusement. To be honest, just thinking about them makes my skin crawl a little.
Not true for my heart warrior. She soaks up every minute.
I worry about her enough as it is. Do I really need to think about all the things she could come into contact with at a fair? Do I really need to worry about how her heart handles all that excitement? Shouldn’t I put my foot down and tell her not to go?
No, I shouldn’t. And here’s why.
Because she’s the one that taught me that even when your life is lived on the edge of death, you don’t have to afraid to live. You can embrace every moment of the life given back to you. You can still have fun.
I could try to describe this more. I could try to explain it better. But thankfully, I have a photo that says it all. A picture really is worth a thousand words.
©2016 Betts Keating. All rights reserved.
Read more of Betts Keating’s story in her memoir, My Movie Memoir Screenplay Novel, available for purchase at amazon.com.
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