Our younger daughter, Sarah, recently entered a half-marathon, but had to stop at mile marker six, overcome by the heat. You may remember May 22 if you live in the Mid-Atlantic—that was part of the weekend that was so hot, (in fact, our air-conditioning unit was overcome as well, and I’m waiting on our HVAC guy as I write this.) Sarah didn’t collapse, so no scrapes or worse. She did have a bad case of heat stroke, and of disappointment, but otherwise she was fine.
I think she deserves a Lifeathon sticker.
I’m sure you’ve seen those stickers on cars that have 13.1 or 26.2 emblazoned inside an oval. Those numbers signify that someone ran a half-marathon or a full-marathon, respectively. The thing is, we’re all running a marathon—call it a Lifeathon—and on a track that often resembles an obstacle course. I think we should get stickers for that race, too. “I survived a stupid thing with my sanity intact” is too long for an oval sticker, but I think Lifeathon will do nicely.
Car break down the day before you leave on vacation? That’s life. The garage will have a sticker for you.
Dishwasher break down on Thanksgiving afternoon? That’s life. The repair guy will give you a sticker. You know, on Monday.
Did junior break his arm trying to walk the top of a fence rail after you told him for the 82nd time not to? There should be a sticker waiting for you at the hospital.
We navigate all kinds of obstacle on this Journey. Most of them we get over and “laugh about later,” but I do think a sticker would help. I mean, our granddaughter, Riley, gets stickers from her dentist, and it seems to soothe what must seem to a five-year old like a very barbaric experience.
If Sarah got a sticker for such experiences, she wouldn’t be able to see out the rear window of her car. I’m sorry that she’s accumulated so many, but so proud that she’s survived them all. No one at that race gave it more than she did. I mean, when you run until you pass out, you have pulled the maximum effort from your body and exerted total willpower. She deserves a sticker. She already has my utmost admiration.
Lifeathon stickers would help bring us together one minor mishap at a time. Imagine being at the gas pump and noticing someone else’s Lifeathon sticker on the rear windshield.
You: “Dishwasher break down at Thanksgiving?”
Other person: “Kid who thought he was a high-wire walker.”
Both of you: “Ahhhh.”
And you’d give a little nod to one another, a tiny salute that recognizes someone else made it past another of Life’s obstacles.