My Son Claims Victory Over His Mountain of Struggles

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by Joe MacDonald |

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Our family took a recent trip to White Sands, New Mexico. The dunes were amazing. I had thought that my feet would burn due to the heat. However, I was pleasantly surprised to realize that the sand was cold. I enjoyed walking barefoot as we climbed to the top of the mounds of sand, before sliding down the slopes. Our time together was filled with laughter.

While it may look easy, climbing to the top of a dune is a difficult task. My feet sank into the white sand as I tried to climb. I was frustrated by my attempts to scale the dunes; my body can’t move like it could when I was 20.

My son, an 11-year-old ball of energy, ran toward the dunes, eager to get to the top and slide down. However, he struggled with the climb. I reached the top as quickly as I could and cheered him on. I reassured him that I knew that he could do it and urged him not to give up. When he made it to the top, his face wore an expression of joy and triumph. He had made it. We celebrated his achievement at the top.

This son of mine accomplished something that would have been unthinkable a few years ago. He tested his body and it came through for him. He had no bleeding or aftershocks as a result of attempting something that was once outside of his capabilities. To an onlooker, it was a straightforward climb for a boy his age. However, my son is struggling to build up the strength that he lost having spent a year in a wheelchair. He’s getting stronger over time.

I am grateful for my amazing son as he continues to teach me lessons about the human struggle. I’m learning how to be bold and test the limits of what I think is possible. He reminds me to reach for goals. Praise be to God that the oldest can learn from the youngest. Everyone possesses a unique gift that when shared makes the world a better place.

We named the white sandy dune “Mount Midge” — my son’s family nickname — in his honor. He claimed victory over his mountain of struggles to stand at the top of a dune and look out over distant peaks awaiting his discovery.


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