While I was walking Rudy into the Kindergarten play yard from the parking lot one day last week, one of his classmates walked alongside us and politely peppered me with questions about Rudy. After a little pause in our conversation she asked “How old is Rudy?” and I said “He’ll be 6 next Wednesday.”. Without hesitation she said “WOW! He’s old!”. I think I surprised her a bit when I threw my head back in laughter and responded “You have no idea how glad I am to hear you say that! We sure have lots to celebrate next week!.” 🙂 Even though this little one is likely only a few months behind Rudy in age, I love that there are now kids younger than Rudy who see him as a “big boy”…a GREAT reminder of how far Rudy has come! 🙂
The celebration of Rudy’s 6th birthday started early yesterday with a fun turn out for the American Heart Association’s annual Heart Walk. The crazy heat wave finally broke early last week and we enjoyed a gorgeous Saturday morning along Cabrillo with the ocean as our back drop. Local friends along with some friends from L.A. and Irvine joined us for the 5K Walk/Run and I’m SUPER proud to report that “Team Rudy” surpassed it’s 10K goal by raising a total of $11,620.00…putting our cumulative grand total at nearly $52,000.00!!! TRULY AMAZING! Well done everyone!
It was fun to share the morning, once again, with DP’s drum line and Westmont’s baseball team…with special “heart” buddies like fellow-survivor John Dixon and Logan’s mom, Rayme…and countless friends from the special community that surrounds our whole family. What touched my heart most this year was watching how the big sibs engaged in the day…they put great thought into their plans leading up to the Heart Walk, took it upon themselves to invite friends and enjoyed the event together but in their own individual ways. It’s familiar to them now, they’ve caught a vision and they were invested…LOVE IT!
Rudy? Well, he definitely had a plan of his own as well. After weeks of walking up a storm at home, he chose NOT to walk at the start of the event…stubborn would be putting it mildly. It’s as if he was saying “I’m not your performing monkey” while refusing to walk in front of the drum line, cheerleaders, dozens of onlookers AND the media all waiting for him to triumphantly walk unassisted!!! Rolf and I pulled out every trick in the book to coax him into walking but his determination to NOT walk was steadfast. He did, however, feel all kinds of freedom to walk when all was said and done and the crowds were long gone! Honestly!!! 🙂 I decided pretty quickly, though, that I can’t be too frustrated with him as it’s that stubborn streak of his that has likely contributed to where he is today…it’s a big part of what we’re celebrating in him this week! 🙂
Of course, celebrating Rudy goes hand-in-hand with acknowledging the hundreds of people in his life that have played a part in his successes…everyone from those who have said a prayer to those who are hands on in his care. You are all heroes in our book and we invite you to share in the celebration! To the larger “Team Rudy” community…YAY YOU!!! We are so grateful!
Here are some HEART WALK 2014 highlights (by Greg Lawler):