Thursday, October 28, 2010

Today, I Went for a Run

Today, I went for a run.

The first member of my family in my parent's generation passed away early this morning. My uncle has been fighting a valiant fight against prostate cancer for the last 15 years. I hear he went peacefully, on his terms, with his wife by his side and a smile on his face. No fear, he has said through this process. No fear.

My uncle was a high school teacher and track coach. When I was in middle school, he would tell me I should run track. Hurdles, he said. I want to see you run hurdles. I never did. Running never appealed to me. As I've gotten older, I found I wish I did want to run. There's a romance to it. A peacefulness I recognize, now. But the fact of the matter is, I'm just not a runner.

Today, I went for a run.

Friday night, the high school my uncle dedicated his career to, will be dedicating its track in his honor. It's been scheduled for some time now and he had hoped to attend. Until last week. Instead, my cousins and my aunt will stand surrounded by the community they gave so much to and that gave so much to them and see the Acton Boxborough Regional High School track named for Richard E. Dow.

Today, I went for a run.

The news this morning wasn't unexpected, but it still hurts. It still scares me that someone so close to my parents' age is gone. It still pains me that my cousins have lost a father, that my aunt lost her husband, that my father lost a brother-in-law, that my other uncles lost a friend.

Today, after Peanut's preschool Halloween parade, class party, and packing for a trip we leave for tomorrow, I loaded up the kids in the Double BOB and I went for a run. I felt my head clear. I watched Peachtree Creek, full from yesterday's rain, run the opposite direction. I smelled the damp ground. I felt my physical self as my feet found their rhythm against the pavement, my breath evened and my heart pounded in my chest. I heard a crow in a nearby tree, the distant rumble of the growing rush hour traffic. I found myself completely focused on the present. A rare gift.

Today.

In honor of my uncle. To take a moment and mourn him. To join his legacy of runners (if only for a half an hour).

I went for a run.

4 comments:

Lacey said...

A half hour run with a double BOB is no small feat! Cheers to your honorary run and your uncle.

Beth said...

Monica, so sorry to hear of your Uncle's passing. My thoughts & prayers are w/ you & the family. Big Hugs!

The Kairdolfs: Lucas, Lori, & Layla said...

Sorry about the loss of your uncle. Hope you have a fun and safe trip to NC this weekend. Missed you at SS this morning! You are such a great writer. You summed up perfectly the reason running and I have a love/hate relationship!

Kaitlin With Honey said...

Hi! I work with your cousin, Sue, and she told me about this post. I'll be linking to it today on one of my posts, as I think what you had to say was beautiful, inspiring and touching.

I'm sorry about the loss of your uncle and wish you the best. :)