Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Volleyball Camp with the Lady Bears

Last Saturday morning was the beginning of Taylor's most anticipated camp of the summer - volleyball camp with the Lady Bears. She absolutely loved this camp last year and would probably live in the dorms and eat in the residential restaurants all summer long...if that was a possibility.

Check-in and drop-off were much easier this year, mainly because we both knew what to expect. She stayed in North Russell (as opposed to Collins) this time around. I lived in South Russell so it was a bit of a trip down memory lane. Good thing those walls can't talk, friends...

Anyway, her super sweet coach - Audrey - saw that her nametag indicated she was in group nine before we ever headed up stairs and they like each other immediately. It was such a good fit. Taylor was roommates with one of her good friends and another volleyball friend from WFC was just a few doors down the hall.


When I walked into the Ferrell Center for the awards presentation yesterday afternoon, it was obvious Taylor had become friends with everyone. And was the life of the party. Love. This. Kid.

Her demeanor was entirely different - and much more confident - than last year. And it did my heart good...

Each camper again got a super cool green and gold volleyball. This year they have slashes in them - like a bear paw. And T again got all of the players to sign it for her. :-)

When it came time for the awards in her group, she received the "Molly the Braveheart" award. Molly was a precious young lady - and great volleyball player - who lost her fight to cancer a few months ago. She spent a year or so undergoing treatment and had several surgeries before that, though, and she kept playing volleyball as much as possible. The Lady Bears think of no one more highly than Molly. That's a fact.

And so, as my daughter walked up to get this award for "outstanding character, fight, leadership and teamwork," memories of those long (and rough) days of elbow rehab came flooding back to me. The emergency surgery. The plate and six screws. The pain. The tears. The uncertainty or what, if and when would she be able to use that arm again. And, if she did, would it ever be like it was pre-injury...

All of those things that made her who she is...

...literally brought tears to my eyes.

And as the entire camp did a rousing "Sic 'em, Bears!" and I packed her up from another adventure away, I was reminded of several things. 

Life is short. And can change in an instant.

The hell we (particularly my baby) went through with her elbow was nothing compared to some of the struggles others face every day.

All of the pain, frustration and agony were worth it. She did fight. And she won. 

And I am so incredibly proud to be her mom.