Thursday, October 28, 2010

Running with a broken heart

I've been staring down October 30th on the calendar for quite a few weeks (and months). 
I've been worried about a lot of things for this 5K, but it turns out they were all of no weight in the grand scheme of life. That's right. Life. Those worries are of little significance to what's on my heart right now. 

Chad was always in with the ladies!
I never knew that this week, the one leading up to my big race, would be one fraught with total heartache.

Two friends died this week...first, I learned of Chad, 32, a friend who passed away on the other side of the country. And just yesterday afternoon, it was Amber, a beautiful 18 year old young woman in our TLC program. 

Both of them were beautiful souls...with sparkle, vitality, energy, talent and loving hearts...and both were lost to cancer. 

One heartbreak is enough to sink a spirit, but two in a row have left me feeling incredibly hollow this week.

And in the midst of all this--- I'm planning on running a race? 

Amber and I just two weeks ago
Doubts abounded. Yet, maybe- just maybe this is the right time to run. My athlete friend and energetic cheerleader, Mary Eggers  posted on my facebook spurring me on. Even in this dark time, especially in this dark time---there is motivation.
She's so right.

As I take my mark among 500 other runners I will feel a lot of emotion. I'm still not aiming to make an impressive time because that would just be entirely unrealistic. I run with a purpose. 

I carry with me Zach and so many others whose lives have been interrupted, forever changed--- or ended by cancer.

I can't fight cancer. I can't cure cancer. 
All the marketing buzz words waving on banners can't annihilate this disease. Knowing that almost seems the definition of 'powerless'.

However, for whatever it's worth, I still feel there can be a vibration from the difference that one can make by doing somethingIt can't bring my friends back. Yet, in times of grief and tragedy we need a way out of powerlessness. I need to feel that even more now.

In some small way...I will carry the stories of my lost friends with me on my run. 

Having raised over $1,700 for young adults across the country who still struggle with their disease and seek the financial help of the SamFund...I know I did something. 

Thank you to all of you who have stood behind me and allowed me, not only to not give up but to push forward. There is no way I could have do this without you.


jennifer pates said...

wonderfully written! I love you chica and I will be thinking of you and sending all sorts of positive energy your way xoxoxoxxo

jennifer pates said...

wonderfully written my friend. I know you will do wonderfully! And you have a special cheer section up in the heavens looking down on you. Will be sending love and positive energy your way on saturday. Love ya my crazy window breaker =) xoxoxox

Marathon Girl said...

Just read your post...You can, will, and must run your race. Use what you're feeling about Chad and Amber to fuel your run, I know you can do it because, a. You have come this far b. You have new found motivation, and c. You're Dora the f-ing explorer.
Keep your head up; it's the only way to see the road ahead of you. Let us know when you've run the race so we can congratulate you :)

Hope, love, run,

Sarah said...

You and your cheerleader-friend are so right, Leah, there is motivation and there is a vibration that comes from doing; from carrying on despite the heartache.

I was so saddened to hear of Chad's death and, though I only was able to spend that short weekend in Vermont getting to know him personally, his spirit and vitality still come through his friends, like you, who knew him so well. That picture really reflects the sparkle that he brought to everything! (Um, and how did I sneak in the back?!?)

I'll be thinking of you as you endure through your race for the SamFund and as you endure in the larger scale of living life, and enjoying wonderful people who's stays with us may sadly be cut short, like Chad and like Amber.

Fifteen minutes ago, I just so happened to find something of Mike's I'd lost after he died over three years ago: his extra truck key with his Army dog tag attached. I was searching for "accessories" for my work Halloween costume in the utensil drawer (don't ask), and they they were. I was stunned to silence for a moment, thinking of all the times I'd beat myself up for losing the dog tag and the symbol it was for feeling guilty I couldn't do more to "not lose" him. Finding it reminded me that parts of him—tangible or intangible—are all around me, in me, a part of me, all the time and even if I can't see them. Or him. And we go on.


Anonymous said...

Leah - So sorry for your loss of two friends in such a short period of time... Am sure you will also be inspired by your memory of them.