I don’t know about you, but I hated sports day. All that forced fun and over excitement just didn’t suit my shy nature. Even less so because my mum wasn’t always able to come along due to work.
If I, the smallest in the class, was going to compete against 30 other children, or tie my leg to a friend’s and hobble to the finish line without falling over (we called it a three-legged race), I wanted my mum, my cheerleader, to be clapping and shouting from the side lines.
When I think of sports day, one particular year comes into mind when I was very young. Like with all children’s sporting events, there was an egg and spoon race. Rather than leave the concept untouched, the teachers decided to add an element in which you had to put on oversized clothes as you made your way around the track, all the while trying not to drop your egg. This was all very well and good until I reached the welly boot which I had to put on over my trainer – daft really. Well, it just didn’t go well at all, and needless to say, it didn’t go well for my egg either. I found myself stuck in the middle of a field, immobilised by a giant welly boot on my foot, until one of the teaching assistants came and picked me up so I could shake the damned thing off! I don’t remember if Mum came to that Sports Day, but I’m sure to have told her all about my public embarrassment at home!
Today I started something that is really important to me towards my future, far more important than taking part in an egg and spoon race. Thankfully there was no public embarrassment.
Grief sometimes feel like being your own cheerleader doesn’t it? Your team got smaller so you have to cheer a bit louder. Your person doesn’t phone you to say good luck, or how did it go? They don’t see you trying your damned hardest every single day without them.
And it’s on days like today, happy days, the days that I am most proud of myself that Mum’s silence is the loudest. And it’s on days like today, happy days, the days that I am most proud of myself that I feel like I’m at Sports Day again. I’m running towards a finish line I simply can’t see, crowds and crowds of people clapping for their children, no one is cheering for me.
If you feel as though you can relate to this post, I would just like to let you know that I am so proud of you for never giving up. I actually wrote this back in January while I was feeling particularly vulnerable after a really big day. No matter how difficult grief is, I do still believe that my mum and your loved one are always looking over and cheering us on from the side lines even though we might not be able to hear them anymore.
So in retrospect, let’s change that last line:
I’m running towards a finish line I simply can’t see, crowds and crowds of people clapping for their children, and I know my mum is still cheering for me.
Be kind to yourself,