So the last will be first, and the first will be last.
Dead last. My girl's relay was dead last. Again. I watched from the stands, hundreds of moms and dads, friends and coaches yelling and holding up banners and signs. Cheering their teams on. I saw her run by, right leg swinging out in that differently-abled gait of hers, left hand clutching the metallic-red baton, barely stretching around the cylinder - small and mighty. She was grinning again- ear to ear - because she just knew in her heart that she was 'fast as a rocket'.
"Did you see me?" She asked when I met her after the relay teams were walked to the medal stands. "I run fast", she said, eyes bright with the day of excitement and color. Cheeks flushed in the warm sun, flushed in anticipation of receiving a medal. Dead last and she would be getting a medal. Her whole team got one. Placed around their necks by girls from the local high school. Young women, healthy, ponytailed, tanned and toned in their cheerleader outfits. Spending one of their precious Saturdays at this place, volunteering their time to these 'others' - these differently-abled, oh-so-variously labeled adults, and teens, and kids.
Special Olympics track meets. Where the last truly are first.
Thank you, God - for all the people who volunteer - for making these very special events possible for people like my daughter. Thank you for teaching me the value of UNcompetition - the value of fellowship.
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