I finally hit the road running again. I haven't run since before visiting you. I ran between 3.5 to 4 miles, and it was a different kind of run.
I was full of emotion when I took off, I had been thinking of you all day. My headphones where blaring music in my ears. Not loud hip hop, or pumped up music, but quiet music…… It was soothing and relaxing, if that even makes sense while running.
The same songs I've heard a million times played into my ears, but at first, I wasn't listening to the words…only the sounds. My thoughts kept going back to you. I was remembering that very first half marathon we ran together. We were so nervous, but we ran side by side, and we finished together proudly.
My mind then went to when we met for that small vacation in Oregon, where we ran yet another half, and then followed it up with wine drinking at the finish line….and then later again, when we went wine tasting. I remembered that we had to sober up before making our way to the vineyards. 🙂
Then I started thinking about this last year. After being told of your breast cancer, you couldn't run much anymore…you were feeling a little weak. This devastated you….this was something that we did together. I ran my races anyway, but never without thoughts of you. You were running a race of your own.
I struggled with my running so much last year, but somehow your voice in my head helped me to finish each race….you strength willed me not to quit… You were my inspiration.
For a minute I started listening to the song playing in my headphones…I'd heard it before, but somehow it took on new meaning. It was the song “The story” by Brandi Carlisle. Id love for you to listen to it if you haven't heard it. I don't know who she sings the song about, or what she's trying to convey in her own life, but I could suddenly hear you speaking these words to me.
I started the song over so I could listen from the beginning. I could hear you speaking to me again, with the same conviction that she was while singing it. It was emotional and real.
Half way through my run, I couldn't find my breath. I was literally gasping for air, but I never stopped running…I only listened. It wasn't that I was unable to breathe really, it was that I had become so overwhelmed with emotion and love for you that I felt my heart would explode.
I listened to the song three or four more times, hearing your voice each time, and I started to relax.
Last week when I was visiting you, you cried….worried that your story would never get out. I want you to know that your story is already out. Starting from a child, and now adding on still, your story keeps growing. Your story is in the hearts of all the lives you have touched in this world.
We have all lived and absorbed your stories from the moment we each met you. Your story is our story. You are our hearts. You are a part of our own stories. Your legacy will always go on:).
If you are never physically able to run again, you will always run with me in my mind. If you gain the strength to join me again, I will gladly accept you with open arms……
I think back to that picture of us finishing the race while holding hands….never giving up, and not quitting until the end. As you have always run with me in my heart and mind, during my most recent races, I will also run with you.
Please know that my hand is in yours for the entirety of your race too….listen to my voice, whispering words of encouragement into your ear ..and stay positive.
I love you more than you know….