Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Lauren Holiday recovery

My favorite soccer player is Lauren Holiday. Period. Full stop. I like a lot of other players, but Lauren is my favorite for a lot of reasons. Despite her immense talent, ability, and hard work, she may be one of the most under-rated players to go through the Women's National Team. That seemed to be a conscious decision to let many of her teammates take the spotlight, while she quietly and strongly did whatever the hell was needed to help the team win. That could just be my opinion though.

For the past year, she's had to deal with a brain tumor that became apparent while pregnant with her first child with Jrue Holiday. As if having a kid isn't hard enough... Not long after giving birth to Jrue Tyler, Lauren had surgery to remove the tumor; a surgery that was thankfully successful. While many new parents show off their kids, which is what Lauren has done from time to time, it was striking to me that I never saw Lauren in any of the photos. Turns out, that too was a conscious decision until yesterday's Mother's Day celebrations.

I have been hiding myself from a camera for the past 7 months. I didn't want anyone to see my paralyzed face, my eye that is now crossed, the bald spots from radiation & my half shaved head. Granted you can't see any of those things in this picture, just a patch...it's a huge step. Today reminded me just how incredibly strong women are. The resilience of our bodies, the power of our minds, the ability to put other humans fully before ourselves, our compassionate hearts but most of all our undying love for our families, our friends and our precious babies. I went through the day admiring women at church, at lunch and those just walking down the street. I am so proud to be a daughter, a sister, an aunt, a wife and most of all a mother. Happy Mother's Day to all the Mamas, Mamas-to-be and future mamas! You are beautiful. You are ridiculously strong. But most of all you are loved. So very loved. ❤️
A post shared by Lauren Cheney (@laurenholiday12) on

While most comments I have read after her post have been positive and are comments on how strong she is (which is true), I was surprised to read such a post from Lauren. It's such an indication of how fragile we can all be when faced with potentially life-threatening issues. Lauren is a World Cup Champion, an Olympic Gold Medalist, an NWSL Champion, a league MVP, a league final MVP, etc. and yet she's still self-conscious about the after-affects of brain surgery. She didn't feel comfortable letting people see her and that saddens me a bit.

Life is a messy business and sometimes it gets ridiculously messy. Being alive means that you've had to endure the ups and downs, the good and the bad, and the birth of a child and the affects of brain surgery within a month of each other. There's a lot that we can learn from Lauren's and Jrue's strength and relationship and her recent post reminded me that not only are people strong and compassionate, but that they are often going through a turmoil that you can't possibly fathom. Even the seemingly strongest people you know may be going through something that you can't understand because you're not in their position.

As a husband and a father of three very strong little girls (gymnasts), Lauren's post reminded me that no matter how physically strong they are and how strong headed they may seem, doubt and a lack of confidence is something that can affect anybody, at any time. It's those with whom we surround ourselves that help us get through those moments and that can make us even stronger.

I'm thankful that Lauren survived her surgery and has a beautiful daughter and a loving husband. The soccer stuff is just a bonus for the rest of us to have been able to witness, but it's not the most important part...


Jeff C. said...

Nicely done. Thank you for this post and for the good (if still difficult) news about Lauren.

Don said...

She also reminds us that soccer, or photography for me, is fun, but they aren't all that important. It is the other things in our lives that most important.