This is one of my favorite weekends of the year: Daytona 500 Weekend! It’s Race Day people.
My racin’ heart and thoughts begin in earnest this week and continue until the middle of November when the NASCAR season comes to a conclusion.
I first became a NASCAR and racing fan after the death of my daughter, Dakota. She was born with the congenital heart defect of Truncus Arteriosus and died shortly after her open heart surgery. As part of my healing process I created connections to NEW people, places and things like NASCAR, Windy City Raceway Ministries, Chicagoland Speedway, RCR, Stewart-Hass Racing, 23XI Racing and drivers like Kevin Harvick and Bubba Wallace.
Creating new connections is part of healing. When I engaged with NASCAR, races, people at races and driving on rave tracks, I could engage in social and recreational activities with out being reminded of my loss.
Healing is all about making new connections to people, places and things. For me, one of the new connections was to a sport, sporting venue, recreational activities, social justice work opportunities, volunteers and professional racers. These new connections helped me heal after the death of my daughter and continue to help me heal from her loss and now my own healing process post open-heart surgery.
Due to my current medical leave, I am able to live out a “dream” of mine:
The ability to sit my ass on the couch and watch as much racing as I want and can.
I can watch racing and connect with the various level of NASCAR Series (trucks to cup) without feeling as thought “I should be doing something else!” What a glorious position to be in.
Rest and relaxation is my focus these days as I heal after my open-heart surgery back on January 31.
A vital key to healing is making new connections and leveraging our already existing connections, those that were not destroyed by the trauma or event the triggers the need for healing, for the purpose of grieving what we have lost, such as my daughter and my ability to be her father.
So this weekend, as I heal from the physical trauma of my recent open-heart surgery as well as the emotional pain of the death of a daughter after her open-heart surgery in 2002. I will connect with an old friend: NASCAR Racing. I will be entertained. I will cheer and yell at the screen depending on how my guys, Kevin Harvick and Bubba Wallace, race. I will rest by body, cleanse my soul, get my heart racing and most importantly continue to HEAL in many, many ways.