Becoming whole through family life. Desserts help.
When my daughter, Devin, told me she was going to train to run a marathon, I wasn’t surprised. I did my mom job and asked her the standard questions, “Do you have time? For your studies? For your wedding plans? For the family, too?” She answered simply, “I can do it.”
I knew she could do it, too. But we both knew it wouldn’t be easy. She grew up at running events and triathlons, cheering her dad and uncle on to victory. She cheers at her brothers’ baseball games. She knew it would take sacrifice, hard work, and determination to succeed. She needed a focused mind and passionate heart that wouldn’t quit. It would take guts.
Watching the news from my home, I cried and I prayed.
And so she did. Devin chose a local marathon known for it’s beauty and rigor. She trained for months and never complained. The day of the race arrived and her fiance drove her to the start. Family, friends, and neighbors were sprinkled along the 26.2 miles. My husband, sons, and I, with cowbell in hand, settled in at mile 18 to cheer the marathoners. I’ll never forget catching the first glimpse of my daughter running towards us and then her sweet, reassuring smile when she ran by me into the adoring crowd of Little League players handing out water.
Then I got angry. The finish line is my home, my territory, my turf!
After catching her again at mile 24, family and friends quickly drove to the finish line. When I spotted Devin on the final stretch, a heavy weight of mother worry lifted off my shoulders. My eyes filled with tears and for the first time that day, I was quiet. I watched her cross the finish line then ran to meet her. I’ll never forget our embrace. Never.
As a fan, I’ve stood at countless finish lines waiting to glimpse my loved ones.
It’s about the runners. The players. The gamers. We fans stand on sidelines, sit on bleachers, and cheer at finish lines not because we love ringing cowbells, or shouting, “Here we go kid!”, or dressing in funny clothes, or making clever signs, or singing amusing chants, although extra credit is given for creativity. We cheer because we’re encouragers, supporters, admirers, and ultimately lovers. Erin Gloria Ryan describes The People Who Watch Marathons well…
We’re a tenacious bunch.
In our time of grief, we’ll pray for the dead, the injured, their loved ones and all who are heavy-hearted. We’ll be sad, angry, and feel a mix of emotion that is indescribable. Then we’ll do what we do best.
I have competed well; I have finished the race; I have kept the faith.
~ 2 Timothy 4:7
We’ll keep the faith, root for each other, and tenaciously love.
Gray Stripe Earned: Compete well and cheer loudly, together.