My Beloved and I participated in the Run For The Cure this morning. It was a 5K walk in support of breast cancer research, education and awareness programs. I did it for the cause, of course, but I did it for Thomas too.
It's sort of an obsessive-compulsive-paying-it-forward disorder, or OCPIFD, I think. I believe it's what happens when you suffer an utterly incomprehensible loss - you spend the rest of your life trying to make sense of it and trying to do "good" in memory of the person you've lost.
I thought we were good people before Thomas died, but now we're determined to prove it, I suppose. Either that or we're still trying to run away. Literally.
Anyway, just before the start of the run My Beloved filled in the "I'm running for..." portion of his runner's bib. This is what he wrote:
I started to cry almost immediately. I caught myself before I really got going (we were in a field surrounded by literally thousands of people and sobbing just didn't seem the thing to do) but it touched me so much. And it proved that he has as bad a case of OCPIFD as I do. Possibly even worse, in fact.
I "ran" for a girl on my chat board who was diagnosed with breast cancer while pregnant with her son. She had a double mastectomy and survived and her son is now almost a year old. I admire her strength so much - her ability to make it through what had to be an impossibly terrifying pregnancy with her sanity in tact. I know she just did what she had to do to survive and that to her it doesn't seem all that heroic, but it does to me.
It's the same kind of heroism I see in My Beloved who had the strength to write those words on his runner's bib - who had the courage, strength and sweetness to run for his son today.
He would have been an incredible father to Thomas and I know he desperately misses all the things he'd hoped to do with him. I know he dreamed of playing catch with the boy until it got too dark outside to see, and I know he dreamed of teaching him to ride his first two-wheeler, scrapes and tears and all. I know he wanted to teach Thomas right from wrong, to instill a strong work ethic in him and to one day give him all the old comics he's been saving for years. I know he wanted to tell Thomas all about his family so he'd know where he came from and what odds those who went before him faced and overcame.
I know he wanted to hold that little boy in his arms and never ever let go.
But he had to. And so today My Beloved drew from the bottomless well of strength he seems to have and ran for our Thomas instead.
And as he did I discovered that it was possible to fall even more deeply in love with him than I already am.