Saturday, December 17, 2011

Dammi Forza

The title of this blog is "dammi forza", which means "give me strength" in Italian. This has been a statement that I have lived by the past few months since I came across it in September. I was trying to find a specific saying that came across strong for the t-shirts I made for the heart walk. I also wanted there to be a lot of meaning behind the words I chose. I come from an Italian family so the Italian language, although I don't know very many words, is important to me. There is something about other languages that make sentences sound much better. This statement speaks volumes to me because everyday I ask God and my dad to give me the strength to make it through the day. I know that I personally do not have the ability to go about my day without the help of a loving God that blesses me with the world around me.

The reason I brought up this saying is because of what took place tonight. I have been dealing with a lot of different injuries for a long time. Currently I have been dealing with back and hip pain, so I will be getting an MRI to determine what is causing all the pain. The past two months or so I have been under a lot of stress and haven't been sleeping well, which is definitely not helping my situation out.  I am praying that everything turns out fine but I am also hoping that the MRI shows why I have pain in that area.

Tonight was the annual Alumni game at my high school and I was forced with the decision to play or stand and watch. I debated all week because I didn't know what to do. I knew that it probably wasn't a smart decision to play but everything inside of me was telling me I should. My dad loved the alumni game. I think he only missed one since I graduated high school. He would come and watch the team whether I played or not and always had comments to make about what we could do better. I mean plain and simple he pretty much judged what we were doing wrong and wasn't afraid to tell us. But we all loved it. He was a presence in the stands that everyone felt whether we saw him or not. He had this way of making all of us laugh even when things didn't turn out the way we had wanted them to. Someone the other day said it perfectly to me, they said "your dad was truly an amazing person and I feel honored to have had him as a friend". I too believe that my dad was an amazing individual and I feel like the luckiest girl in the world to be able to call him my dad.

As I stepped on the field tonight and laced up my boots for the first time in a year, I had a ton of emotion flow through me. I remembered all the days in high school where he would sit in the cold weather and cheer me on. The days it was pouring and nobody wanted to be there, he would sit there and be proud of what I was accomplishing. If I got hurt or needed someone to cheer me up after the game, he was there. He always gave me strength to push myself to the limits I didn't even know I had. I continued to get dressed not sure if I would be able to play or not but that feeling was still in me that I needed to try. I felt that I owed him that. He loved watching me play soccer and I truly believe that it was those times that he was most proud of the person I was. We shared a passion for a sport that became my life from a very young age.

I began warming up and was surprised that I felt pretty good. I told myself that I would try my best but that if the pain became too much I would pull myself out of the game. I haven't touched a soccer ball since my senior game, which was two Novembers ago and would end up being the last game my dad ever saw me play. I did okay tonight, I didn't play how I used to play soccer but I tried my best. I have raspberries all over my left leg and I know I am going to be sore tomorrow but it was something I had to do. Not only did I have to do it for myself but I had to do it for my dad. It was the one risk that I have taken recently that I will except the consequences. Although I have wounds to show that I played, I also scored a goal that was entirely for my dad. We lost the game but it doesn't even matter because I achieved what I needed to. After scoring my way of honoring him was pointing and looking the sky showing that it was his strength that got me through.

Part way through the game I looked down at my finger and read the letters "J.T.A", it was at that time that I knew he was with me. Tonight was the start of a hard week but I have handled it very well so far. A little tears showed up tonight but that is going to happen. Tears will take place this week and probably more then ever but I will except those tears and know that I am still on my way to moving on. I know in my heart that I have grown a lot and I know that I will continue to grow. I am prepared for whatever takes place in the coming days and I pray that the people who are meant to be by my side will be there. I hope that those people aren't there because they feel they have to but rather want to.

I look forward to getting past the year anniversary and allowing myself to continue to heal. The amount of firsts won't happen as much and I feel the cut won't be as deep as it is right now. I am learning to deal with each situation that is presented and I know that I will only get better at controlling my emotions. I have been so incredibly lucky to have people come along side me and walk with me through all of this. For a while I was scared that everyone had disappeared but a few people have constantly reminded me lately that they are here and will do whatever they can to get me through all of this. For those of you who have been there and know what I am going through, I thank you for understanding and taking the time to listen. My one constant prayer through all of this is that those people who have been there will one day be blessed by God and they too will grow in their faith.

With all that said, my night was complete because I scored a goal for my dad and I know he is proud of me. I am sure me playing made him nervous though! :)

Once again thank you for all the support and the constant thoughts and prayers!

God Bless,

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