Wednesday, May 16, 2012
LOVE Powers Our HOPE
Wow! What a week we have had… I have been pondering over how to write our “thank you” all week in the midst of all of our happenings…As many of you know, Parker was accepted into and started the RAPPORT study which is an National Institute of Health study on the drug Rilonocept and its effects on systemic on-set juvenile arthritis. So between work, labs, and a trip to Shands Hospital, I am finally sitting down to write about our Arthritis Foundation Walk and the thankfulness that overflows in our hearts…
Well, here it goes… People walk in and out of our lives each and every day, it just naturally happens. Taking the time to build lasting relationships with people has blessed our lives immensely. And it’s moments like we have experienced when you realize how interconnected we all are… On May 5th, we had the pleasure of sharing in one of the most remarkable experiences with many many people who will forever be IN our lives and dear to our hearts. May 5th, Parker was showered with love that totally wrapped around our family in a way that words cannot quite explain. As we pulled into the parking lot, we gasped at the sea of purple starting to wash over the park. We knew a lot of friends and family were joining us, but it’s overwhelmingly powerful to actually “see” it. In addition to our team, there were many people out supporting various other teams…definitely more than last year. All I kept thinking is how much love was in that park for one single cause! Everyone’s lives were touched by the many forms of arthritis.
As Parker was getting his team ready for our walk team picture that morning, I was in the bathroom helping the Tampa Bay Ray’s mascot, Raymond, get over to the team. When I walked around the corner holding Raymond’s hand and looked out at Parker’s Purple Playas positioned for the snapshot, I could see Logan at the very tippy top of the mountain-like jungle gym. Logan, Parker’s older brother, right at the top of it all. I was totally overwhelmed at the site. Logan has endured all of this right alongside of his brother and in that moment I was so very proud of the young man he has become. He has strength, compassion, brilliance (the kind that shines), and he so deserved to be “on top”. At first he was all I noticed…and as we got closer and closer the white nose I was hearing turned into cheers. My breath escaped me…and my eyes glassed over with the tears that were trying to flow. We were all there…in the moment… together! For one cause! With HOPE in our hearts!
Parker grabbed his bull-horn that Logan had covered in duct tape…purple duct tape, of course. He cheered his team on while we snapped pictures… We love each and every one of the Purple Playas. So much of the morning felt like a blur… As we all began the actual walk, I kept thinking how incredible it was to share in this moment…all of us…walking together. As we rounded the second corner I felt compelled to thank everyone…We were at the front of the walk, so I turned around and started to walk against the flow of traffic. That was pretty funny because my husband also had the same idea (we had separated somehow but met back up as we walked against the crowd). We knew the only way we could try and say thank you to everyone was to walk all the way to the end…so we did. If you are reading this and we missed you somehow, please know that we are eternally thankful.
Love from our family to all of Parker’s Purple Playas…Together we raised over $15,500. Join us again, same time, same place, next year!
P.S. And Happy Birthday Grandma Dianne. We know you couldn’t walk with us, but hopefully you could share in the experience by reading this. We love you very much!