11 September 2011

Running for Joy... Running to Remember...

On Thursday, I put forth my memories of the tragedy that was this day ten years ago.

Today, I celebrated life in remembrance of those who lost theirs. I do believe most of them would want that. I know I would want that.

When I go, sure, be sad for a bit. But then remember my zest for life and honor me by emulating that. I am no stranger to loss and hardship. Every day is fraught with challenges – big and small. I honor my loved ones and all manner of heroes who've passed away by taking on these challenges... by diving into every moment of being alive, by wringing every ounce of "experience" and every drop of joy that I can from this unwieldy and unpredictable thing that is LIFE.

Before we were married, my husband once asked me, "What is the basis of your spiritual foundation?" I got really pissy. I didn't understand the question... and I didn't enjoy neither the tone nor the context in which the question was asked. He and I were in the middle of a run, and it was merely his idea of light and lively conversation to pass the time. Whatever happened to the Kevin Bacon Game?

What he wanted to know was:  When things are hard... unfathomably hard, when I am experiencing deep pain... physical or emotional, when the s*** hits the fan, when the going gets tough... how do I make it through? What do I look to? How do I find peace? How do I find the reassurance that things will be okay?

I told him I didn't know. I just do. Somehow... somewhere within... I just know. And trust.

Things might really hurt or be really hard for awhile... but things will be okay. They will.

I look up and I see this...

and this...

the iconic engineering masterpiece that is the Golden Gate Bridge

I look down and I see this...

the exhaustion of a little boy who spent the day playing so hard and so joyously
that he fell asleep on the floor between the sofa and the coffee table

and this....

the limitless curiosity of a two-year old that mandates taking out all the puzzles 
and dumping out all the pieces without wanting to put them together

I look out and I see this...

the delight of a swing

and this....

the joy of making new friends!

And I ask "How can things not turn out okay?" and I am reminded of the expression that goes something like...

"Everything will be okay in the end. If it's not okay... it's not the end."

Compared to the losses of 10 years ago, it's trivial, but I didn't run or do any sort of physical activity more strenuous than grocery shopping for 8 long years. Because I couldn't. Most days the pain was incredible and nearly unbearable... and it was always there. I limped. I hobbled. I cried. But I knew it wasn't the end. Things weren't okay yet.

August 31st marked one year since my return to running. Today I ran to remember. The plan was 11 miles to remember 9/11. I was alone when I hit the 10-mile mark after running with my new friends for the first 9. When I looked in as I began that eleventh mile, I was completely overcome with joy... the joy of being able to run... the joy of being alive... the joy that things are starting to be okay. I didn't stop at 11... I held that feeling for an extra mile.

Not everything is okay... and that's cool.

I don't want it to be the end yet :)


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  1. beautifully written. thank you.

  2. Oh - this post brought tears to my eyes! Just beautiful. Congrats on your joyful run! :)

  3. This is my favorite of all your posts yet Marjorie. Thank you for sharing such beautiful and reflective and vulnerable (in a sense) words with us. So wonderful...the pictures, the story, you celebrating life and running and all these things that bring joy to your life. Lovely post!

  4. This post is awesome. Great job with it all. I am so glad you reached your goals and are looking for even more!

  5. Beautiful post from a beautiful heart.
    Thank you.

  6. Absolutely touching. Love this! Love the quote. When times get really tough for me, my grandmother's voice is in my head telling me "This too shall pass." And another friend's voice is in my head "If He leads you to it, He'll lead you through it." Sometimes, when I'm feeling especially cheesey, Annie's "The sun'll come out, tomorrow"! :) So many times I can reflect back on feeling like it was all over, but I thought "Just give it another minute, hour, day, month, year..." and then one day I look up and what I thought was the end, just wasn't. I'll now have XLMIC in my head saying "Everything will be ok in the end. If it's not ok, it's not the end." LOVE! Thank you for all the ways you bless our lives by sharing your heart.

  7. I'm so thankful you are running again. I'm so thankful you blog your thoughts, Marjorie!

  8. Love this post...really loved it. So happy for you that you are running pain free! So exciting!!

  9. WOW, I have the most ginormous goosebumps from reading that beautiful post with those beautiful pictures. That quote at the end needs to be printed out and plastered on my wall, thank you. Congrats on an amazing run and your running anniversary in August:)

  10. Love.
    Super love that quote. It is perfect.

  11. Pretty sure this is my favourite post of yours ever. So so inspirational!

  12. lots of stuff to be thankful for. beautiful post and great photos. visiting from Sunday Funday.

  13. What a great perspective! I love that you did something so meaningful to you personally to remember such a hard day. That is really remarkable!
    The photos were fabulous too!

    Thank you so much for linking up for #SundayFunday!!!

  14. I wouldn't know how to answer that question either. I love that perspective - that it's not the end until it's okay. Thanks for sharing this.

  15. I love your perspective. Feeling that I'm on the start of something helps me a lot.


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