Thursday, May 5, 2011

We Did It!

It's official, Devon and I completed our half marathons.  It was an amazing experiencing!  I loved every minute of it.  Well, maybe not every minute of it, but most of it!
We all met at the TNT tent after the race.

My mentor Heather stayed with me until mile four.  When we split up things got a little harder because I didn't have anyone to talk to.  Well, I had about 30,000 people to talk to, but I didn't know any of them, so I did lots of thinking.  At mile five, I decided I would dedicate each mile to a different person.
Mile five was for Isaac Baker.  Isaac is six years old.  He is one of 8 kiddos.  When I was running for Isaac I pictured his sweet smile from the picture on his CaringBridge site.  I thought about his sweet mom, Emily, and how hard it has to be being a mom of eight,  homeschooling, having a newborn, and helping one of your kiddos fight cancer.  I thought about Isaac's brothers and sisters and how hard it has to be for them.  I thought about Isaac's sweet newborn sister, Jessa.  Thoughts of Isaac got me through to mile six.
I dedicated mile six to Isaac Bode.  Isaac left this world to meet Jesus on August 3, 2010, he was 17.  When I was running mile six I thought about Isaac's family and the pain they face everyday without their sweet boy here with them.  I thought about Isaac's mom, Amy.  I wondered if she has seen the rainbow she has been waiting for since they buried him.  I thought about how unfair cancer is, seventeen is too young to die! 
On mile seven my thoughts turned to my Uncle Bud.  He passed away on Easter after a long battle with cancer.  I thought about his wife Bonnie and how hard it must be to lose a mate after fifty two years of marriage.  I also thought of my dad and his sisters.  Their dad wasn't really around, so my Uncle Bud played the part.
Mile eight was dedicated to Clinton.  Clinton has a brain tumor and he is one of the cutest kids ever!  Ironically, mile eight was when the run got really tough!  I pictured Clinton in his Superman cape going to get his chemo.  I thought about his mom, Kim, and the battle they have had to fight. 
My family was in my thoughts on mile nine.  I thought a lot about Lyric and how hard this last ten months have been on her.  I thought about the time she was crying in the closet telling Devon that Story was going to die and our family would never be the same.  I thought about Devon trying to comfort her.  I can't imagine how hard it was for him to comfort her when he couldn't assure her that her sister wasn't going to die because he didn't know.  I thought about Cadence and how much she loves Story.  I pictured her sweet little bald head and could hear her sweet little voice, "I want to look like Sto--reeee"  I thought about how hard it was for Devon and I spending very little time together.  I thought about the time, when we were about a week into out journey, Devon came to the hospital and was still upset and being very weepy.  I hit him on the arm and said, "Pull it together man!" (Yes, I'm sensitive like that.)  Devon and I played very different roles in this journey.  I think I had it easier.  When Story was diagnosed and we were in the hospital for 26 days I was there with her.  I only left the hospital once and I didn't like it!  When you are in the hospital your kid has cancer and that's all that matters.  When the nurses come in-your kid has cancer, when the cleaning lady comes in-your kid has cancer, when the cafeteria delivers the trays-your kid has cancer.  When you go in the "real world" the other people in the parking garage-don't know your kid has cancer, the parking attendant doesn't know your kid has cancer, other people out living their life don't know your kid has cancer.  Devon had to deal with so much without me there by his side and he handled it amazingly well!
I dedicated mile ten to Dalton.  He is our friend Kylie's cousin.  He was just recently diagnosed with Lymphoma.  He is only five and is such a doll.  We haven't met him in person, but his pictures are just precious!  I thought about how his life has been turned upside down.  I hoped he was like Story, never realizing how sick he truly is.  I thought a lot about his parents.  When you have a child diagnosed with cancer your whole world is turned upside down.  I am sure they are still in such a state of confusion!  My heart aches for them!
Mile eleven was for Kylie.  I feel especially close to Kylie and her family because we were there the day she was diagnosed.  I will never forget her sitting in the hallway with her thick blonde
Mile twelve took me to Hunter.  I thought about Hunter's sweet smile!  I also thought quite a bit about Mandy, Hunter's mom.  We were going through the same thing at the same time.  I thought about Ronin donating marrow to save her brother's life.  I thought about Drayken and how his world was turned upside down.   It made me smile to think of Hunter doing so well.
Of course, I thought about my Sweet Story Bell the last 1.1 mile!  I thought about her great attitude through this whole journey.  I thought of the hell she went through with this whole process.  I thought about the mouth sores and the throwing up blood.  I thought about the night when she was throwing up mucus/blood and it was stuck in her throat and how she choked on it.  I remembered crying and how my tears ran down her bald head and the look of fear in her eyes when she looked up at me!  I remembered how bad I felt for crying at that moment!  I remembered the night when she was crying for Lyric and she wanted so bad to be with her sister!  At times I had a hard time not bawling in the middle of my run!
Devon saw the kids when he crossed the finish line, but I didn't see them.  The last quarter mile or so I just felt the need to sprint.  I ran as hard as I could at the end.  I don't know why I wasn't really worried about my time, but I guess I just wanted to finish strong.
Grammy, Megan and the girls hung out for quite some time waiting on us to finish.

It was an amazing day!  I was a little sad that it was all coming to an end!  We had the best mentor ever, Heather on the right.  She did an amazing job making sure Devon and I were ready for the race.
I can't wait for my next event!

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