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Monday, August 12, 2013

Those Behind Us



Last weekend my family and I participated in the Baby Steps 5k supporting the Amelia Center. The Amelia Center is a grief counseling center for children and bereaved parents. Many of the groups were running in memory of a lost child, and we ourselves were there to support two families who have recently lost children.

My goal for the run was just to run the entire race. No matter how tired I felt I made a promise to myself not to stop. For some people three miles is a warm up to their workout. For me, the three miles is a real accomplishment. Several times I reminded myself of the reason for the run, and that I am physically able to have my heart pump blood and move my legs to carry me through. I also continued to think of what a blessing it is to have a healthy two year old to wake up to bring that morning to the race. That was my inspiration. Run for those who can not.

When I finished the race I felt good about my time and proud of myself. I was standing around catching my breath when a woman about my own age came up to speak with me. She told me she was running in honor of a daughter she had recently lost. She was at the race by herself and her running partner had canceled the day before. Unbeknownst to me, she had been behind me the entire race. She said that staying behind me motivated her to keep going. We had a really touching conversation that left me feeling the impact of a divine appointment with someone else. It wasn't anything that "I" did. I was in the middle of my own struggle to continue.

As I saw my husband come across the finish line with Coley on his back it made me appreciate even more the life of our child. How easy it is to take those moments for granted.

How often in life are we in this situation? We don't realize those that are running behind us. We don't realize the impact of our actions. This really hits home with me as I am at school preparing to start another year. Our words and attitude have an impact. The students sitting in our classroom are looking to us for not only curriculum, but for support in their own lives. My hope is that I can keep the end goal in mind and run a race that is a motivation to those following. We never know who they might be and what needs they might have.