Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Competition Quandry

State games are in two weeks for bowling withnSpecial Olympics.  Lyn will, of course, compete.

Mom reminded me the other day that Lyn has been competing in Special Olympics since she was eight years old.  Sometimes, I think she was six; but that is because I am remembering that time from my perspective and I was six.  Lyn is 42 and has competed in one sport or another for 34 years.

She has met so many friends through Special Olympics.  They have been fellow athletes, coaches and volunteers.  They have really enriched her life and helped her achieve more than ever expected.  When you don't put limitations on a person, you allow them the room to grow to their potential.

As a parent, that is sometimes a hard concept to remember and practice, especially if you feel the need to protect a person or are faced with recognizing very real limitations.  On the news last night, there was a story of a young man with Muscular Dystrophy who finished the Chicago Marathon 17 hours after he started.  He set a goal for himself and achieved it with a host of people cheering him on.

I look at stories like that and find them deeply inspirational.  However... You knew there was a "however", right?  Lyn's reality is ever changing.  She is increasingly unstable and her vision is fading.  The Alzheimer's is winning bit by bit and the competition is over stimulating and confusing her.  Perhaps, it is time for Lyn to retire from Special Olympics.  Perhaps, it is time to transition to bowling just for fun.

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