Sunday, October 02, 2005

On the run once again

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.

8 comments:

Julie said...

What an amazing man.

I try to find ways to give in the memory of my son too. Any time I amke any kind of donataion, it is always in his memory. When there are places that sell paper balloons for a dollar to benefit children's hospitals in the area, I always get one and write "In Memory of Caleb". I need for his name to be seen. I need for people to know that he existed and is loved. Maybe my reasons are partially selfish, but at the same time I am doing a little to help.

Catherine said...

So that's what that's called! Thanks. I've been wondering about my urge to do things for charity lately. I'm sewing and beading for different causes like a madwoman...I've become almost obsessive compulsive about it.

Mine comes from something I read. The death of a loved one has no meaning in and of itself. It just is. It is what we DO with it that gives it meaning. I want to give my Alex's life and death some sort of meaning. Maybe to make myself feel better...maybe to make him proud of me...I really don't know. But I do it for him.

Your husband sounds like a good egg.

Jill said...

Your husband seems every bit the loving father Thomas made him:(

Don't sell yourself short though - it took a lot of strength not to sob your way through that whole run.

Bronwyn said...

Congrats to both of you for doing more than your part. Your SO sounds like a keeper! He's already a great dad.

deadbabymama said...

What wonderful parents and spouses you are.

Sherry said...

What a wonderful thing for both of you to do. Yes, there seems to be a few of us suffering from OCPITD. We are feeling the same way and have been trying to do our part whenever we can. =o)

smileyeily323 said...

I just wanted to thank you guys personally for running in the Run For The Cure. Unfortunatly, breast cancer is something that my dh side or the family is all to familar with. It runs on his moms side of the family and most of the women on that side have died from it. Including, my dh's beloved grandmother and also his aunt. His cousin participated in the 3 day one earilier this year. It is so awesome that you guys raised so much money to go towards reasearch. I just know that one day, and hopefully very soon, a cure will be found. I absoluty loved how you ran for Ga Jen and my heart melted when I read what Sandy wrote on his bib. He ran for Thomas, how incredibly sweet. He is a incredible father. I know Thomas was with you, cheering you on...

smileyeily323 said...

I just wanted to thank you guys personally for running in the Run For The Cure. Unfortunatly, breast cancer is something that my Dh's side or the family is all to familar with. It runs on his moms side of the family and many of of the women on that side have died from it. Including, my Dh's beloved Grandmother and also his Aunt. His Cousin participated in the 3 day one earilier this year. It is so awesome that you guys raised so much money to go towards reasearch. I just know that one day, and hopefully very soon, a cure will be found. I absoluty loved how you ran for Ga Jen and my heart melted when I read what Sandy wrote on his bib. He ran for Thomas, how incredibly sweet. He is a incredible father. I know Thomas was with you, cheering you on...