“The Race” Fiction: Based on a True Race to the Finish Line

“But We Made It.”

– Gabe Cordell


“The Race”

Fiction: Based on a True Race for the Finish Line

By Suzanna T.


This journal entry is inspired by true events. Some of the characters, names, businesses, incidents, and certain locations and events have been fictionalized for dramatic purposes. Any similarity to the name, character, or history of any person is entirely coincidental and unintentional.

Trigger Warning: our program often motivates people to discuss their trauma. If you find yourself feeling overwhelmed, please, take a step back to address emotional flashbacks and trauma before continuing to push yourself. If you are experiencing a medical emergency, call 911 or the National Suicide Hotline at (1-800) 273-8255.

“Move. Train. Build Yourself Up.” It was all I’d been hearing from my spirit. “Move. Train. Build Yourself Up. It’s Coming.” So I did. I lifted myself, lifted weights, balanced my weight on my legs…ran.

It was a normal day until 1:29 pm when I got the call, and the race started. I ran out of the office, through the lobby, and out of the front door. I ran to the car, drove two streets over, and ran up the sidewalk to the locked doors. It took the secretary a long time to buzz me in.

I ran to the principal’s office, then down the hall, then down another hall. I waited out of courtesy for everyone to catch their breath and tell me where to find him. Then I ran down the hall, and down another, and another.

That’s when I saw him, eyes barely open, weak. I went to him. “Say my name,” I ordered. He parted his lips just a little.

“Ma. Mama”, he whispered. He’s never called me that before. It’s always been my first name, and I never cared. We know what we mean to each other.

He went limp in my arms. I lifted myself, and him who is just 6 inches away from being my height, and exactly half of my body weight, and I ran. I ran up the hall, and up another, and another. I ran down the sidewalk and put him in the car. Driving two streets over, I parked at the hospital. I lifted myself and him and ran through Parking Garage B. My muscles burned with exhaustion. My arms quivered from the strain of my son who although is almost my size, is only nine years old. I ran across the manicured grass and through the automatic doors of Fondren Children’s Hospital where my legs finally gave out. I hit the floor, but he didn’t. I was careful about that.

The medical staff surrounded us and took him away from me.

Someone lifted me to my feet. It was his father who’d also gotten the call but had to drive more than just a few streets over. “Come on,” he urged, half leading, half carrying me through the double doors to the room where they would stabilize our son.

Sweat poured from his head and face and turned the dark blue of his uniform shirt an even darker shade. “You’ve been running,” I said almost laughing. It’d been eight years since his last long distance run.

“We gotta start workin’ out”.

“Way ahead of you this time,” I humbly boasted.

“You’re not done,” said my spirit.

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