It's as if a giant tsunami hits you without warning from behind, and you are literally drowning, you can feel yourself choking, struggling to breathe, inhaling water and at times just wishing you could succumb to the pain. Then you realize that all the hopes and dreams that you ever had for your life and your child's life are drifting back out to sea, forever lost. Gone.
With each passing year I've felt like I'm walking the shoreline trying to find where all of it went. Did it all sink? Is it all just rusting away at the bottom of that endless ocean? Occasionally, I'll find a piece of a shell on the shoreline - a piece of our dreams floated back waiting for me to find it, just hiding beneath the sand's surface.
This summer I found two broken shells; we won tickets to Thunder Mountain Races from The Chelsea Hutchinson Foundation's fundraising benefit and we were able to take Luke to the race track for the first time. And then we found our second broken shell when Luke and Noah's grandfather donated his Mile High National Tickets to us so we could take Luke again. But the shell wasn't whole. Noah was still missing from the races. At home with his respite care provider he couldn't join us. The hot temperatures, lack of shade, only porta potties and no real space to handle his incontinence care, and his ability to handle direct sunlight and regulate body temperature, sprinkled with Noah's sensory challenges, we simply had no idea how to make that work.
On a whim I reached out to Bandimere Speedway to explain our difficulties with Noah to see if there was anything at all we could do to make it work to take Noah to the track with us so he could watch the races. I honestly expected that they'd say while sympathetic towards our situation that they simply could not make accommodations for Noah's unique needs. But they found the perfect situation for Noah and extended us an invite to come up to the track. We went up for the Chevy Show, which couldn't have been any better. Chris used to race a Chevelle so his passion has always been rooted in Chevy cars. It was also a moderately low-key event with less traffic and people, a great combination for Noah. We used Suite 203, which was so nice because we only had to lift Noah's wheelchair up just a handful of stairs. And Bandimere staff was so kind to allow us to park next to the tower so Noah would not have be exposed to the heat of the day for any extended period of time. Noah had access to air conditioning and a fantastic view from his wheelchair on the top deck of the Suite. We arrived around 11am in the morning and weren't sure if Noah would like it or hate it. We anticipated we'd be lucky to stay maybe a couple hours with him, but we didn't leave until after 7pm and were the last to leave the track.
|John (Ticket Manager)|
|John Bandimere, Jr.|
After the races were over we all played on the tracks and showed the boys how sticky the tracks can be at some races. It's a substance that kind of makes your shoes feel like human fly paper, you just really stick to it and can even walk right out of your shoes. The van parked just past the tower close to the tracks. It was a surreal moment.
Noah's Miracle by Stacy Warden is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.