BEHIND THE PLATE: Battling full-court press gives new meaning to Mother’s Day
It attacks you like nothing you’ve encountered.
It’s worse than giving up a walk-off home run to the No. 9 batter to win the World Series.
It’s worse than stepping on the baseline before you hit the game-winning 3-pointer in Game 7 of the NBA Finals.
It’s even worse than rupturing your ACL while plowing across the trenches and into the end zone.
Over time, the body and the mind eventually heal as you prepare to go back into battle and live another great moment in your life. The embarrassing and frustrating feelings of giving up a game-winning score may feel like the world has come to an end, but it hasn’t. As time passes, you soon learn from those mistakes, which build you into a stronger person and competitor.
The torn ACL will heal. It might not be 100 percent but with advances in medicine and technology, the recovery time has improved and you nearly feel like nothing happened on the field.
But for almost a quarter of the country’s population, one opponent hasn’t been defeated yet.
It’s a manipulative, deceiving and ambushing foe that stays with you every second of your life. It doesn’t show any mercy like some opponents when the score’s out of reach.
No, this opponent wants more.
It wants more of your body, your mind and your soul. It wants to take you down and make sure you don’t have the strength to continue this lifelong battle.
But as you battle every day, confusing thoughts may enter your mind questioning if you have the power and will to continue. Your body tries to fight but it can’t without your help and positive attitude. Every negative thought only gives the opponent more fuel to not only carry on with this full-court press, but apply even more suffocating pressure.
It doesn’t let up and will continue punching you in the gut until you can’t take it anymore. It doesn’t care if you come down with a cold but instead, it tricks your body into attacking itself. No amount of Dayquil or Sudafed will help you. It’s a lost cause.
As days turn into months, and months turn into years, it continues getting stronger.
It wants more of your body. It wants your sight. It wants your touch. It wants to cripple you into a wheelchair and take away your legs forever as it waits to go in for the ultimate takedown.
You win many battles. And you lose many battles. Ultimately, the war is lost but only after a lifetime of epic fights that could have taken you down much sooner.
But you still have the power to determine how long this war will last.
My wife, Monica, and her opponent enter the seventh year of this war next month but because of her optimism, positive attitude and determination, it doesn’t stand a chance at winning many battles.
She’s been knocked down several times but every single time, she has come back stronger because of the love and support of her family and the continuous thought that nothing will deprive her of living a happy and fulfilled life.
Her two daughters, Kyra and Arabella, give her the strength required to continue this lifelong battle against Multiple Sclerosis. From seeing her precious angels giggle in the back seat to big sis showing little sis how to play with her doll house, these moments continue giving Monica the will and power to not let this invasive foe take over her life, or even her daughters’ lives.
It does not prevent her from playing with Kyra’s dolls at 10 at night. Nor does it prevent her from snuggling her little bunny to sleep when she wakes up after midnight because of a scary dream. Her little girls give her all the fuel she needs to not only live a meaningful and enjoyable life, but to stare down Multiple Sclerosis in the face and come out on top regardless of the many curveballs it tries to throw at Monica and her family.
Without Monica’s competitive and stubborn nature, the battles would be fought alone, leading the war to ending much sooner than expected. Her efforts to battle MS result from the love for her family and the drive to live as she celebrates her sixth Mother’s Day.
Happy Mother’s Day to those who continue to battle every day and give new meaning to living.
Thomas Ranson can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.