The Story Behind "Never Lose Your Cape" 

 

 

Well, here it goes. 2020 was one of the most challenging years of my life.

In the peak of the global pandemic, I went to the ER with my first ever horrible kidney stone, which sucked, but wasn’t a huge deal. Until the next day when a urologist told me I actually have a rare kidney disease, that I will need to manage for the rest of my life. This tore a little hole in my cape. “It’s fine, I will just push through and be fine." I have dealt with a handful of things in my life - childhood bullying, parents’ divorce, even a very painful sexual assault in my early 20s. I have always just strapped on my cape and powered through. However, having three young children, anything medical wise really freaks me out. But whatever, I push forward. Then after over a year of searching for a home in our new state, we finally move into a house.  Six days after moving, my husband had to leave our home for a period of time until

he made the choice to get (and stay) sober. 

 

OK, so now I am working full time, managing my kidney disease, doing remote learning with my oldest, trying to keep my 4-year old from setting the house on fire, and taking care of a baby. By myself. 24/7. Another tear on my cape, but we push on. I tell myself that parents all over the country do this every day. It’s fine. We push on.  Six weeks later, I get a very unexpected phone call. I, along with 300 other people at my company, are laid off due to COVID. My job has been so much of my entire life for nearly 13 years. I was destroyed. 

Three days later,  I went to an orthopedic surgeon appointment because of persistent pain in my right ankle that I’ve had for over two years. The doctor tells me I have a very rare condition of tumors in my ankle and I will have semi-aggressive surgery in three weeks. My cape has now been ripped off. I sat in the office and cried. I told him I just lost my job, my husband is an alcoholic and that I NEEDED to be ok for my children. I always felt no matter how difficult things got, no matter how little sleep I got, no matter what was thrown at me, I would be ok because I had my cape, and I would find a way to push through; the same way I got through difficulties in childhood and in my early twenties. The most important thing has always been the ability to physically and financially provide for my family. Now, all of that was at risk. 

My cape was gone and I didn’t know how to get it back. But 2020 wasn’t over yet. I had the surgery and it went well. I was home the same day and very grateful. Four days later, I went to the ER in the middle of the night because I was vomiting blood with major rectal bleeding. I was admitted to the hospital for 5 days with ischemic colitis, a completely unexpected scary event that the doctors feel was unrelated to my surgery. Again, very rare condition for someone my age (seriously?). I left in the middle of the night and didn’t come back home for what felt like forever. I cried, so much. I had never even spent a night away from my youngest. It was a horrible experience and my heart is completely broken for people who have to spend months in the hospital due to COVID or other illnesses. 

When I was at one of my lowest points, I was not even able to talk to some of my best friends due to sadness, shame and other feelings I could not regulate. Then I finally spoke to a friend and she said something I will never forget. I told her I felt like my cape was gone and I didn’t know how to get it back. She said, “So you borrow mine. I have my own cape because you helped me build mine, so until you get yours back, you borrow mine.” 

It was in that moment I realized, you can never lose your cape because it’s not always about being strong every second of life. It’s about knowing that when you aren’t strong enough to stand on your own, you lean on the people in your life that will help lift you up. 

So where do I go from here? One thing that has always pulled me out of dark places was to help others. 

And just like that, Never Lose Your Cape was born.  The purpose of the Never Lose Your Cape podcast is to share true, raw, authentic stories of perseverance from people in the sports and entertainment world. The goal is to give our listeners hope, and to see a different side of guests, other than the typical athlete/broadcaster talking head interview. If one person is helped by listening to the podcast, I have succeeded.

"Joy is settled assurance that God is in control of all the details of your life, the quiet confidence that ultimately everything is going to be alright, and the determined choice to praise God in every situation." -Kay Warren