Another piece of my soul is forever in Seattle.
Last time it was for Breathe. This time (in addition to witnessing some Minnesota Twins victories against the Mariners with the "K Twins Group":-), Carly and I had the pleasure of meeting three very special people. Seeing these kindred spirits in the person was an awesome experience!
First, there was Sarah Morris from Breathe 4 Tomorrow Foundation. Sarah is the real deal. She's one of the most thoughtful and caring people I've ever met. We spoke very little about our illness (she has CF too) because our friendship goes beyond that. We had a great time talking about baseball and life while cool gusts of wind that were blowing in from the Pacific coastline permeated the upper deck of Safeco Field.
It was really hard, but we were very good about staying apart from each other. We had a little help from my wife who we used as the buffer zone and hug exchanger. It broke my heart that I never got to hug Sarah. It's times like these that I hate the damn "3 Foot Rule", but we made it work and still had a fantastic visit. Thanks for spending time with us and for being such a great friend, Sarah. I know a "wife hug" isn't the same as a "Joshy hug", but it's still pretty good. Next time we'll make brunch happen. Oh, and thanks for telling the Mariners to "let the Twins win a few." You are one in a million and I adore you, sister. You are more than CF.
The next morning, Carly and I had brunch with Brad and Sarah Jones - Conner's parents. I had no idea what to expect when I saw them. Would it be too hard? Would it be awkward? I wasn't nervous, but I was prepared for anything because I knew our meeting had the potential to be emotionally overwhelming.
You know what? It was all smiles.
Big hugs, talk of sandals (followed by husband eye rolls), football, baseball, Pike's Place Market, dirty kids at grandma's house, and who does the lawn work in the family filled our breakfast table, save a minute or two when the food FINALLY came. Yes...we talked "CF shop" a little, too. We talked about blogs, about meds, and of course, about Conner. Yes...there were a few tears, but they were brief and needed. I bit my lower lip to hold them back.
Moganko also made the trip to Seattle for a special picture with the Jones duo, which brought smiles again. Sarah shook Moganko's head back and forth which spiked out his hair like he had put his finger in a light socket. A precious chuckle from "Mama and Papa Bear" and I knew Conner was there in spirit. When the waitress brought our check she asked "Is that a Muppet? What do you have that for?" We all just grinned.
The Jones Family are doing well and taking things day by day. The opportunity to give them both a hug was a very special gift that I'll cherish forever. I held that hug for an extra second especially for all of you. They are more than CF. Conner was (and forever will be) WAY MORE than CF.
It's so important that we take the time to define ourselves instead of letting other people and things like CF do it for us. WE ARE NOT CF. Yes...we have a little extra to deal with, but we are people who live our lives the best we can...just like anyone else. Angie, Conner, and so many others have taught me that.
If you have CF and are reading this - whether you are temporarily stuck to an IV pole or an oxygen tank or you just climbed Mt. Everest: YOU ARE MORE THAN CF TOO. Your story is just as important as anyone else's, but don't forget that CF is just a part of your story. Never stop being who you are and looking toward the future. You owe it to yourself.
Much love to Ms. Rabbit and The Joneses. You have a special place in Joshland.
Now, If you'll excuse me, I have other "things" to be. :-)
Peaceful and "MORE THAN CF" Things,