I keep staring at it. The photo of the woman crawling to finish a marathon. Something wells up inside of me from somewhere deep, for I relate to that image on a soul level. The crawling part of course, not so much the running a marathon bit.
I had all these grand plans after cheering at last year's marathon. I even ran for about two weeks. Now I am down to what could generously be called jiggling. Wherein I get on my trampoline and I waddle. My beloved husband remarked wryly one night: 'if you're supposed to be jogging on that thing, aren't your feet supposed to move more?' I may have responded with a less than kind hand gesture.
No, my marathon has been of a different sort. An emotional one, so to speak. With funerals, car wrecks, accidents and cancers attacking ones I love. There have been some wins, like a prayed-for baby that finally came.
This brings up other babies I am still praying for. A few that went to heaven too soon. (And babies just shouldn't go to heaven.) A few struggling with diseases and wounds from accidents. A few I'm trying to pray into wombs that are barren and my grieving heart just can't even fathom that kind of pain.
Every time I go to check my Facebook I see more stories that make me sad. More people from my past and present circles with grieving hearts and hard things attacking those precious hearts. Every time I check the news I see even more that I just can't comprehend. An entire row of brothers about to be beheaded, for starters. Pictures of communities attacking each other, and attacking those that choose to protect them. It is almost too much. The kinds of things that bring you to your knees.
So what do you do when you are on your knees and there is still a race to be run? Well. You crawl. You freaking put one hand in front of another and drag along behind you scraped and bloody knees. You just do. You crawl.
'You keep going, you keep going,' the runner says when they interview her and she tells them the only thing she remembered was a woman telling her that she was 'almost.' "I am 'almost' I thought," she says with a smile.
Almost. It really doesn't matter where you think you are in the race, or even, what your race is. Truly, you are almost. Given a scary diagnosis of cancer? Almost. Just starting to drive again after having nearly been killed in a car? Almost. Possibly facing another freaking year of working nights? Almost.
And yes, that last one is mine. The small one. I keep telling myself to girl the heck up already and git'r done for my burden to carry is far lighter then those around me. But even small burdens have a way of looking like a mountain, especially if you are crawling and it is the rock that is in front of you. You know how you crawl up a mountain though? One hand over one knee at a time. Almost. You are almost there. I am almost there. One day may we be there together smiling back at what it took to get there.