We headed down to Orlando again this weekend to spend some time with Ali and Alex from Dallas. Alex is another little mito friend of ours that we have met throughout our trips to Houston. He and Nate see a lot of the same doctors in the mito clinic our there, and his mom and I clicked immediately upon meeting about a year ago.
The last time I saw Alex, he was quite sick with pancreatitis, and he also came down with a line infection right before Christmas and was intubated and really, really sick. So, it was great to see him looking so good this visit!
Alex is right between the girls in age, and they all had a blast playing together for the short amount of time we were able to spend with them. All 4 of the kids ran around the hotel pretending to be in some kind of "buckle club", whatever that means.
Here are the 4 little hooligans together...don't ask me what Abby is doing. I have no idea what goes through her head most of the time. :)
The next morning, Ali, her sister and I ran the Disney 5K taking place during the half-marathon weekend. Ali's sister lives on the Atlantic side of Florida, and Ali and Alex usually visit them around this time of year. Since the races were this weekend and Orlando is a good central location for us to meet, we decided to run this together.
We essentially run the race of our childrens' lives together...cheering each other on through each day, holding one another up when it gets too difficult, helping guide each other around the sharp corners of uncertainty, and giving support through every single circumstance that seems too tough to do without the help of someone who completely understands the exact same scenario. We are partners...friends...helping each other trudge on through this marathon of having a child with a harsh disease.
So we decided that if were we already accustomed to holding each other up through one difficult race in a figurative way, we could do the same in a literal race...and get in better shape at the same time. Throughout the 3.1 miles, we laughed, cried, encouraged, pushed through the pain and exhaustion, held each other up emotionally, and crossed the finish line side by side. It was an honor to run beside my friend through the duration of that race.
We said goodbye after our run, in hopes that we would possibly see them again in April when we will be in Texas next. I headed back to our hotel and watched as my children had an absolute blast swimming. It was a heated pool, but it was only 9:00 in the morning and outside...and February 26th!! I know it is Florida, but even I was amazed at how early they were able to swim this year and not get cold at all. It was been a gorgeous February here...and early spring.