Maybe it is understood, but a sister’s love is one of life’s greatest blessings. And, Kass and I were two of the lucky ones. Nothing prepares you for the loss of your sister, especially a sister like Kass, a kind and genuine soul who doubled as your best friend. There was not a day I can recall that we did not communicate over almost 40 years of our shared time together. Many happy moments filled with light, love, and laughter. I still see her face in the clouds and whisper her name in my dreams.
And, I try to make the best of a bad deal. Life is full of bad deals. We all go through them at some point. Life has a way of unexpectedly kicking you in the face. Sometimes when you stand up, it kicks you in the face again.
I have learned that standing up a second time, and a third, and a fourth….whatever it takes….is how we become our true, authentic, and purposeful self. It is easy to stay on the ground, to roll around in pain, wondering how everything ended up in a big mess. I have spent considerable time there, so I know this to be true. The hard part is committing to stand up again. And again. And again. No matter what it takes, to keep going.
And, if you can keep going by trying to do some good for the world, all the better.
One of my favorite songs about this very topic comes from the amazing Jackson Browne in his song For a Dancer. It is a song about losing someone you love and ends with these heartfelt and beautiful words:
“Keep a fire for the human race
And let your prayers go drifting into space
You never know will be coming down
And just as easily, it could all disappear
Along with whatever meaning you might have found
Don’t let the uncertainty turn you around
Go on and make a joyful sound
From a seed somebody else has thrown
Go on ahead and throw some seeds of your own
And somewhere between the time you arrive and the time you go
May lie a reason you were alive but you’ll never know”
I cannot read these words without believing them with my heart and soul. So now I am off throwing some new seeds through the work of our Foundation. And, that is where you come in.
The picture above shows pre-race stretching in preparation for the 2003 Marine Corps Marathon in Washington DC. It shows two sisters ready to run 26.2 miles because they could. It shows two sisters doing something life-changing together. It shows two best friends. It shows love. And commitment. And hard work. And dedication. For many people, including me, it is not easy to run a marathon. I have never attempted to run one since this day.
Because I did not know what else to do when we lost Kass, I started doing two things: I started writing and I started running. I have never stopped believing in both avenues as the best place for my heart to mend. In both endeavors I continue to find promise, hope, and peace.
And, because I know that Kass’s passing fundamentally changed the course of my life, this year, in memory of the 5 year anniversary of her passing, I will run my 5th half marathon in her memory. I will also do this to mark the year that our sweet baby sister would have turned 45.
5 years, 45 years old, 5 half marathons.
5 – 45 – 5
This year, I want to raise $5,455.00 for our Foundation in honor of Kass. Won’t you join please me?
I will run the 2017 Rock N’ Roll Half Marathon in Las Vegas on Sunday, November 12, 2017. I will run for Kass, for my Dad, for all of those we have lost, and for those of us left behind. I will run for hope, for faith, and for love. I will run to raise money to help continue the great work of our Foundation to provide financial assistance to families fighting cancer. Every dollar raised will be put towards our financial assistance program to help others during their fight.
I know we can do this! We can crush this number. We can double this number! I believe!
Please take a moment to visit our Pay Pal page and make your pledge today! Any amount is significant and appreciated! If you are unable to donate financially, you can still help me by sharing this post with all of your friends, followers, and fans on social media. Helping to share my story is as good as a donation. Thank you!
A side note I always feel compelled to share: not one penny of the money raised is used to cover race registration fees, flights, hotels, meals, etc. for my trip. It is important for me to know that you understand: every dollar raised through this effort will help someone fighting cancer in our community! This is my promise and my pledge. Jamie and I fund 100% of all of my running activities out of our own pocket. We always have and we always will.
Thank you for believing in me and my quest to run in memory of my Dad and Kass who now live in Heaven. I challenge myself each and every day to #LeadWithLove and to have faith that helping others in their loving memory is the path that God has now chosen for me. We are making a difference to all of those we serve. Thank you for being a part of this fight.