The following entries (from beginning runner to half marathon finisher) represents a continuing journey of tremendous grief and sorrow, and of transformation - largely through the therapeutic power of running. The sorrow that has broken my heart open wide has in time allowed me to experience the beauty of being in the present moment. And of course, without the support of family and friends to guide me, I would not have made it this far.

If you have lost someone in your life, I offer these words and verse (some Kristy's, some mine and others) with the hope it may touch your heart and help you heal.

Friday, February 27, 2009


Kristy turns 21

Kristy turned 21 years old and we took this photo of her when she worked at the local Chevy's. She learned such empathy for others while waiting on tables. She identified with the cooks and the bus boys, and all those working so hard to support their families. But she also learned to dislike rude and pretentious people. Especially those who made a point of trying to make others feel bad.

She told me something after a particularly frustrating night waiting tables. She knew the large party she was serving was not going to leave her a tip. But she served them just as if they were the most important people in the place.

Kristy had so many stories of working at Chevy's. She worked in restaurants for years to have time during the day for training. As the years went by she added house painting and general restoration work to her repertoire. She was the one who refinished the back deck and helped me pave the driveway. And of course she put a new roof on the house by herself. There was nothing she could not do when she put her mind to it.

Whenever Kristy was driving and I was in the car with her I always felt safe. I knew she would be able to handle anything. But I guess sometimes even though you take all the precautions in the world, something can happen to throw a wrench into things. You never think it's going to happen to someone you love.

I remember showing Kristy a page I had torn out of The National Geographic, called "Ways to Go". It had the top 20 or so ways people die in the United States. Number 1 on the list, after heart disease, cancer and stroke, was by motor vehicle accident. This was listed as 1 in 84. After this came Suicide at 1 in 119. Bicycle accident was 1 in 4,919. At the end of the list was "total odds of dying, any cause: 1 in 1".

She took a few minutes and looked at the list. She handed it back to me with a grin on her face and said, "Mom, why are you looking at this stuff?" I really didn't have a good answer. It was a bright sunny day and we were sitting in the kitchen together. I kept the information for some unknown reason and happened upon it today.

I think I might throw it away now.

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