Ecuador seemed out of reach last summer. MeKenzei had been injured in cross country season and her running career was over. I know that was super heart breaking for her, she loved to run. I have watched her over this past year work very hard in school. Struggling to stay in the top ten percent of her classes. There were so many late nights, much more than Jakob ever had as a 10th grader. She had trouble remembering things, she has trouble staying focused, she has trouble being run down constantly. Her body just doesn't hold together like it used to. I see her frustrated, confused and alone. She tries to hard to not let her pituitary and endocrine glands get the best of her. Sometimes its hard for her to make the best food choices and I know she sees me nagging when I remind her to eat something good, drink more, sleep more. I am so proud of her for working so hard in school, for selling eggs to raise money for her trip. I am thankful to all those that donated the last two years to make it possible. She raised $1900 of the $2300 that was possible.
I know she will face some tough decisions next year with church. It is hard to work in time for youth leadership and band when you have to study twice as hard to get the grades to stay at the top. I have taken an active role in her schooling. Sometimes its like taking the classes with her. I have had to help with reading and notes and sometimes just sitting there to be moral support. I am so thankful for this time together. How lucky of a mom am I to be so active in their lives. It is exhausting at times but I am eternally grateful for the amazing children that they are. For the fact that they continue to fight, grow and love who they are despite their challenges.
I am thankful for this trip and the week that she will be gone with some amazing students. I can't wait to hear all the stories, see the journal she will keep and see the person that will be molded from this situation. It is so easy to get caught up in the troubles of teenage life. The girl drama, the hurt, the lost friendships, the disappointment, the desire to have more and be more. This week she will see real life, the life that is so much less than what we have yet so much more.