Thursday, May 17, 2012

Running with Reckless Abandon

My blog posts are sparse.  I wish they were more frequent, as I am inspired by so many occurances throughout my day.  I wanted to sleep tonight.  My mind, however, will not rest.  And here I find myself, once again, writing during the midnight hour.
Today was one of those punch you in the stomach, remind you how beautiful life is, wake up and appreciate every moment because simply said, you don't know when it is going to disappear.
I think I personally went through a whole box of tissues at the memorial service.  I believe I allowed myself to ride in the fast lane and never properly mourned until I heard all those amazing words describing how truly remarkable this person was in his own quiet, genuine, peaceful way.  One of our friends from the inner circle, wrote an incredible eugolgy and spoke at the memorial service.  Scott described Dave as someone he admired, in every aspect of his life, from fatherhood to friendship.  Dave was the type of person who made it effortless to make a connection with him.  Dave was not pretentious and lived an authentic life.  He was the kind of person you would meet once and would never forget.  This was evidenced by the standing room only crowd at the memorial service today.
Dave was one of my husband's best friends who was his roommate at VA Tech.  I lost my best friend two years ago.  Shelly and I were instant BFF's when we were the new kids at the junior high in Montgomery, AL.  Both Shelly and Dave were in our wedding and we remained close to them and their families.  I'm still in disbelief that they are both gone.  With their deaths, I feel like a part of both of us has died too.
Although it was a day spent mourning an outstanding individual, this blog post is not about sadness.  It is about an awareness of how the universe works in mysterious ways.  Another friend and I were talking about why is it, that the good die young?  I was explaining how this is the fourth really good friend to pass away in the last two years.  I explained how these friends never once complained about their situation, or about how unfair life was, and until the very end, they were still concerned for others.  And now they are angels dancing in Heaven.
I know Dave's parents through a support group that I used to run and to see them today, at the memorial service was surreal.  I realized we now shared a sacred bond.  We both had to say goodbye to our son's who left this world too early.  They had the gift of loving Dave for forty three years.  I only imagined a life with our son who we lost 27 weeks in utero.  Pale comparisons I know, but we both have experienced the pain of losing a child.  It is not supposed to be this way.  Nothing can prepare you for the heartache.
Two girls left behind without a Mommy, when Shelly passed away and this week, history repeated itself with two girls left behind without a Daddy.  I wanted to scoop them up and tell them it will be okay but inside my heart, I know their journey ahead is going to be painful. 
I am the master of grief.  For ten years, I helped families process their worst nightmare.  At the memorial service today, watching all of those people grieve and let go of their tears was difficult.  I wanted to offer a tissue to everyone of them and give them a gentle hug.  Sometimes I wish my heart didn't feel so damn much.  Sometimes the emotional stimuli can be overwhelming but there is something inside of me that pulls me towards the grieving.
When I hugged Dave's widow, who is also my very close friend, I didn't say a word.  I wanted to absorb her pain.  I wanted her to know, without saying a word, I was her rock and she can lean on me anytime.
Hours passed at the gathering afterwards, remincing our dear friend and the fond memories and how we would never forget how Dave made us all a better person.  I was emotionally drained.  My mascara was washed away from my endless tears.  As we said goodbye, I thought about crawling into bed and just letting my tears drift me into a state of slumber.  So many memories today of not just Dave but of my other friends who are no longer here to share our lives together.  How does one process SO MUCH GRIEF????
Instead of therapy, I run with reckless abandon.  However, I cannot endorse this for others.
It was just before 8:00pm when I finally got out the door.  I was wearing dark clothes with no reflectors.  I had every intention of a "short run" because my husband was concerned about the "boogie men" lurking in the bushes.  I was listening to my music at full blast, my thoughts drifted and somehow I forgot to turn around at mile 2.  I kept on running and running.  It was my escape from the ugliness. 
The moonlight guided my path.  I was energized.  I swear I think the moonlight makes me run faster.  I thought about my Why Marathon Ambassador teammates and how amazingly fast they are without a worry in the world, I thought about my premature son who won his age group after running his first ever 5K with sub 8 minute miles, I thought about my friend who trained endlessly to finish her first Half IronMan, I thought about my new running partner and how she told me to increase my stride by trying to put only one foot in each sidewalk square.  And I thought about how cancer really, really sucks and I wanted to punch it right back in the gut.  So that is what I did as I ran in the dark, past the bushes with the supposedly "boogie men," getting lost in my music, and running as fast as I could.  I didn't care if I got injured.  I didn't care that it wasn't a race.  I didn't care that is was not the twilight run I had imagined but instead, it was darkness and a moonlight path.  I was making a point to myself to LIVE in that very moment and to push my limitations.
While running back home, I came up with the title of this blog post but today was so much more than about my run.  Today was bigger than life.  It was the universe speaking to all of us at that memorial service, telling us to focus on the positive, and to take away the goodness we learned from Dave and spread it out into the world so he can live on.  We must live our lives with reckless abandon, to not be afraid to try new experiences, we must chase after our dreams because if we don't, a little piece of us dies while we are supposed to be living and appreciating and soaking in all the wonderment there is to discover Every Single Day.  Just like you did Dave.  May you soar like an eagle in Heaven. 
                                              ~ Rest in peace, Dave Tobias.~



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