Sunday, April 03, 2005


OK, so forget the literary theme for a minute. I want to talk about something else. This is the beauty of blogs! I'm a runner when able. I ran in high school, college, and I'm still running at 34. My father was a runner, and taught me how to enjoy running. And he taught me in more ways than one.

My father died of cancer almost 5 years ago. And as I was running this morning, with the news all having been full of death lately, the Shiavo case, and the Pope in his last hours, I couldn't help but think of my father, and where I was 5 years ago today. I was in a hospital, at his bedside, with my sister, watching him die. Today would have been day 14 in that which would be a 31 day ordeal, and was probably my weakest moment. I was despondent after two weeks when the doctors had all assured me that he would live for only 3-5 days at the maximum. Why? Because I bore some of the responsibility for what I was watching him go through. I knew his wishes, and I had medical power of attorney for him. I knew that he would die regardless eventually, and his daily suffering would become only greater. But you know what? I can tell you with certainty that suffering does bring a sort of redemption. It brings a love and appreciation of life that you don't get in any other way. Watching him suffer, long before his last stages of death, we came to a different plane of our relationship. It hadn't been a great relationship, during our time apart, from when I was quite young, 6-8yrs, until I was 20, it was filled with hurt, betrayal, lies, humiliation, and sadness on both sides. What we gained was peace, forgiveness, and yes, the ultimate human gift, unconditional love.

So whenever I run, on a day like today, it is raining, and I am tired, and I don't have energy for the last mile....I often think of my father, and how he felt when he couldn't run. And today I thought of the Pope, and how he hasn't been able to move well for years, and has continued on bravely. And I thought of my friends in Iraq and how they risk their lives every day to further freedom there. And with all of these thoughts, my mind freed itself from my body, and every time I put my foot to the ground again, it was for one of these people, these millions of people all over the world, suffering in different ways. I felt lucky, I am free to run, I have the use of these legs, and I will use them for all of those that can’t. I will embrace life. Because ultimately, it is death that makes life precious.


Anonymous My Blog said...

And I thought of my friends in Iraq and how they risk their lives every day to further freedom there.

2:24 PM  

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