I am “one of them.” One of those people who will wait a little longer so that they can sit in the front seat of the roller coaster. Why? Because it’s scarier which makes the ride even more fun. I’m not a screamer. I’m a laugher. The scarier it is, the more I laugh. That feeling of cresting the hill and dangling for just a moment before being thrust headlong down to earth is worth a little extra time in line and a few more giggles.
Our first visit with our oldest son’s wife-to-be included a trip to Hershey Park. We went in the evening. With limited time for rides, we opted to only do roller coasters. She was good with that. One point for Becky. While waiting in line, she suggested we wait a few more turns to get the front car. Point number two. By the third roller coaster, we were starting to compete for the front spot. She was a fighter. Her points were adding up quickly. On a twin coaster, she spied out the lines and timed our wait so that we got on the first cars of each coaster at the same time—for the win.
I pulled our son aside and said, “Whatever you do, hang on to this girl!” He did. And I’m so glad.
Today I’m having that same feeling of riding in the front of the roller coaster. There has been a long wait. I’ve been strapped in, slowly climbed the monster hill. It’s been eleven months since we got in line, when a doctor first said, “I think you may have Mitochondrial Disease.” It’s been eight months since we stepped aside to wait for the front car, going through every test imaginable. And now here we are, dangling over the edge, about to get the results of all the testing. Time to take a deep breath and brace for the plunge.
Like the first time on a roller coaster, I don’t know what to expect. How big a hill is it? How fast will it go? Are there loops and twists? Or is it a straightforward up and down? Does it go backwards? Fortunately, I have my husband with me. He is great on roller coasters. Our first time riding the Superman coaster is one we won’t forget. Because I don’t sit quite as high as most people, the shoulder harness kind of pinned me so that I couldn’t stick my arms out in the Superman flying pose. I looked like a flying T-Rex. I had to ask Doug to reach over and push my sunglasses up for me. He did, laughing himself silly.
When our coaster plummets over the edge this afternoon, I expect Doug will hold my hand and explain the medical jargon that I don’t understand. The best part is he’ll ride this coaster with me to the end. Every loop, every belly-whopping drop, he’ll be there, making sure I’m okay. He has been waiting with me in line, talking through every possible twist, and keeping me laughing. I can’t imagine being on this ride with anyone else. Whatever lies ahead, we’ll face it together, and we will laugh ourselves silly.