Saturday, October 18, 2008

Run 26.2 for Kelly

The start of the Denver marathon is a little over 11 hours away.

For those that are inclined, please pray for all of the people that are running on Sunday to reach the finish line safely. I would ask for you to pray for me to be courageous when the pain and fatigue set in. I have so many reasons to want to run well tomorrow. I am not sure if my body will follow what my heart desires. I hope I can be at peace with whatever the outcome is tomorrow.

I am going to break the race into segments and do all that I can to honor those that I run for. While I am always running for Kelly, I have others that I want to honor tomorrow.

Miles 1-5 for Kelly.

Miles 6-10 for Laiken Kenwood. Laiken was the team hero for Shayna Hefner who is friend of mine that is running a marathon in San Fransisco tomorrow. Shayna has been a wonderful source of support for me throughout this year.

Mile 11 for Patti Kaufman and Megan Dickey. Patti and Megan both passed away on July 11 a year apart.

Mile 12 for little baby Molina who was diagnosed at 3 months, gone at 10 months.

Mile 13-14 for Mason and Brandan, age 5 and 2, local team hero's for fall and winter teams.

Mile 15-16 for Brittany Ross and Kelly. Brittany was diagnosed 3 weeks before her sweet 16 birthday. She wasn't expected to live to see that birthday. She was told she wouldn't see her prom, graduate from high school, ever to to college. Brittany will graduate from college next May, turns 24 in January.

This is my 16th marathon for Kelly. Sue and I did the PF Chang Rock & Roll marathon on Kelly's 16th birthday on January 9, 2005. That also happened to be my 9th marathon on January 9th.

Mile 17-18 for Sarah Larson. Sarah is one of Kelly's best friends. They both underwent transplants in 1999. Sarah is in her senior year of high school.

Mile 19-20 for Kelly. Kelly lived 19 full years. Mile 20 is considered the 1/2 point of the marathon where runners hit the wall. I will need Kelly to be with me, to push me past the wall.

Mile 21 for Rose , Kelly's youngest sister. Rose is a very gifted writer. Her insight at the age of 13 is amazing.

Mile 22 for Molly, Kelly's middle sister. Molly is funny, upbeat, and funny, Did I mention funny?

Mile 23 for Marcy, Kelly's big sister. Marcy is also a wonderful writer, creative, sensitive, gifted with a beautiful voice. Marcy is training to run in her first 1/2 marathon in November. Marcy is married to a wonderful young man, Travis and they have two wonderful little boys that Auntie Kelly adored.

Mile 24 for Patty, Kelly's amazing Mom, loving, faithful to all of her children. Sue and I have both learned so much from Patty about practicing gratitude.

Mile 25 for Don, Kelly's Dad. Don is so faithful to his family, never ever wavered during Kelly's illness about where he needed to be. I have shared some amazing hugs with Don over the years.

Mile 26 for my family who continue to support and encourage me as I have struggled so much this year since Kelly died.

Last 385 yards-I hope I remember to shout out "God save the queen" since this is why we get to run the last .2 of the marathon.

To Don, Patty, Marcy, Molly and Rose,

I love you all so much. I am so grateful to be a part of your family, to have been able to share in this incredible journey with Kelly.

To Kelly,

I miss you so much. I am so honored to be one of your runners, grateful for all the ways you touched my heart, for all of the things you taught me. You are my hero and inspiration, always and forever. Tomorrow when I whisper your name, I know you will be with me as long as I need you.

I love you!


  1. That was so beautiful, so many people that have blessed your life.

    love you,

  2. ross
    we tried to call last night - had forgotten to call on Friday when you should have received the package containing one of Kelly's bandana's and a piece of jewelry with her picture. we are hoping you could carry one or the other to help, inspire, treasure, remember.....we have been praying for you, thinking of you all morning as we know you ran for the first time in memory of Kell. it has been so emotional for me this a.m. to know that - to feel that - running in memory of Kelly not in honor of Kelly, yet also in honor of Kelly. Does that make sense?
    Did you know she used to talk about you, a lot, to her nurses. She always told them, "yeah, that's from Ross - he's my runner." Always referred to you as HER runner. What she didn't have the physical ability to do, you did for her, in honor of her, with such resolve and dedication to her and dedication to finding something better, something to get rid of her persistent cancer. Yet it was the cancer itself that finally killed the cancer - how futile is that? It killed itself........what victory does cancer ever have? Kelly did not lose - the cancer lost.......The victory was, is hers - her body finally gave out, couldn't handle anymore chemo, any more treatments, yet her spirit was vibrant, alive to her very last breath.
    Thank you Ross, for running for Kelly, in honor of Kelly, in memory of Kelly, but most of all, because of your love for Kelly. We are so grateful for you and oh how we would have loved to be there at the finish line today.
    May God bless you so richly for all you've done for our family..
    Love in Him