A few weeks ago in this blog, I hinted at health issues a loved one in my family was dealing with. A little later, I addressed the concern a bit more directly. Three days ago, the details came forth in what was a very difficult post to write, but more to the point, a very difficult period to go through.
With just a few days’ time to reflect, I can tell you that I have been absolutely overwhelmed by the outpouring of support my family has received during this time. My mother flew to Cincinnati without a moments’ hesitation to take care of my boys while I supported my wife. My younger boy’s baseball team all got together to sign a card for him to let him know he’s loved. Team moms gave rides to practices and neighbors helped with bus stops. Since we flew home the day of the funeral, my family has not had to eat a single meal of our own cooking as neighbors and friends continue to simply show up with prepared meals. My sisters have sent flowers, my aunts have sent Facebook messages, my dad drove cross-state to attend the funeral, co-workers have covered meetings, and my email inbox has more “keeping you in our thoughts and prayers” messages than anything else. While it has been incredibly hard to have lost someone so special, it has also been an amazing reminder of just how much we are loved.
And since this is a running blog, I’d be remiss if I did not also thank the many runners out there, many of whom I’ve never met in person, who have sent me incredibly kind, personal notes of support and encouragement. I’ve mentioned DailyMile many times in this blog and how much support the people on it have lent me as I continue to progress in running. But until recently, that support had always been of the running kind and typically public: “Don’t skip your recovery runs,” or, “Keep up the cross-training as it will help you become a better runner.” But over the past month, the great running advice has also been coupled with numerous, personal, direct messages of support for my family. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised. Every running event I’ve ever raced or attended has been filled with people encouraging one another. Since “joining” it, I’ve come to believe the running community is supportive at its core. But I also now believe that the people that connect on DailyMile go above and beyond and actually care about one another.
I hope that when the time comes, I can be there to support the people I care about when they need it most. Until then, I’d just like to say, “Thank you.” From the bottom of my heart, “Thank you.”