Martha's Big Adventure - Our Sons' Stories
Martha's Big Adventure — Our Sons' Stories
By Martha Randolph Carr
My son, Louie, 24 and another young man, Robert Ames, 23, are just a year apart, almost to the day but they share a common history. Both young men have had to fight for their lives at a young age while their mothers learned about how to believe for better no matter what others were saying. Robert's mother, Lori is one of my closest friends and we've been there for each other through big moves, job changes, cancer operations, marriages and book deals.
Louie's story began with some pretty rough chapters throughout his teen years till he found sobriety the day after he turned 21 and has been working on a different focus to his life ever since. This week was a combination of signing a new client for his business, water balloon races in his backyard to celebrate the Olympics and looking into college.
Robert had to redefine his life in October of 2010 when he went to the ER with what the doctors had been calling a virus and found out he had a life-threatening brain tumor. On September 23rd, Lori and Robert will be walking in the first Children's Walk Against Brain Tumors and Brain Cancer in East Meadow, New York to raise funds and awareness. Tweet me @MarthaRandolph if you'd like to donate to the walk.
There were people who have given both young men low odds at a good life much less surviving. But Lori and I have taken those painful walks with them and on the harder days, cheered each other on to believe for better days to come.
Lori is the kind of friend you hope to have when things are really great or really bad because she'll be unimpressed by both. That's always my signal to get on with my life and get back to whatever needs to be done right now. That helped me to get to today's small moment.
Louie moved to a new apartment today that is four buildings down from mine in Chicago. It's a little thing except that three years ago when he was newly sober and I had just moved to the city he found it tough to be in the same room with me. A lot of that was my doing.
My old lack of faith that anything ever turns out well drove me to try to fix Louie and make him try it till I drove him right out the door. Over time, I've learned how to throttle back and go find a life of my own.
The older I get, which is now creeping close to 53 in September, the more I understand the old adage that it's the little moments that make up a life. I really didn't get that at all till about 10 years ago when I became desperate enough to slow down and try a new way of thinking about life in general.
Before that moment I was all about the stunning moments like finally conquering the very steep hill after running all year, losing a lot of weight, getting the book published or even, finally becoming a mother of a beautiful baby boy. Life was a restless pursuit for me of more moments like those.
The smaller moments in between were just races to get to a big finish. It took me a long time to wear myself out enough and it was all tied to how much I had failed my son, at least it seemed that way at the time.
Lori helped me in those tight corners, where it was hard to see how things could get any better, to just keep going and stop measuring the event. Now, she relies on that same ability to be able love her son and give him enough room to figure things out for himself.
After Robert's operations the doctors wanted him moved to a rehabilitation hospital but Lori, who lives in Long Island, NY had other plans and took him home instead. Since then, Robert has gotten back to fishing in the Atlantic with his mother by his side. "He's always at his best when he's fishing," said Lori, "He loves it out here where he can get back to what he loves to do."
Victory in traumatic brain injuries, which brain tumors can cause, is measured in those small moments when an old passion like fishing is rediscovered or a new one like lifting weights is found. Then we're all reminded that all we really have is the day we're in with the people we love and let that be enough. More adventures to follow. Tweet me @MarthaRandolph with the stories of your victories. www.MarthaCarr.com. Email Martha at Martha@caglecartoons.com.
© 2012 Martha Randolph Carr. Martha's column is distributed exclusively by Cagle Cartoons Inc. newspaper syndicate. This column has been edited by the author. Representations of fact and opinions are solely those of the author. For info call Sales at (805) 969-2829 or email Sales@cagle.com.
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