Friday, January 9, 2009

To Kelly on her birthday

Dear Kelly,

I was feeling kind of down this morning, missing you. I looked up and got a glimpse of an amazing sunrise. I stopped and took a picture although I know the little camera on my cell phone won't do justice to what I saw with my eye.

Your birthday has become one of my favorite days of the year, something I cherished. I went to a TNT info meeting the day before you turned 12, cried before a room of strangers as I wasn't sure if there would be another birthday.

I spent the afternoon at Henderson Elementary helping out at a Pennies for Patients assembly for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

I was so glad they had an assembly planned on your birthday. I needed something to hold on to today. Something to make me feel hopeful, to honor you on this day.

The kids got a 5 minute lesson on blood cancer. The role of red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets.

The kids brainstormed ideas about how to raise money. There was one girl that had such a sweet joyful smile. It was a smile that lifted my heart for a moment. Her smile wasn't as amazing as yours. There was a brief moment of healing.

I have so many special birthday memories. It is so hard to believe that fours years ago, Sue and I were in Arizona for the PF Chang Rock and Roll marathon.

Sue was so excited and happy to be doing her first marathon to honor you on your 16th birthday. I was running my 9th marathon for you on the 9th of January. It was a day to honor and celebrate your life.

I feel sad about some things we never got to do together, things I looked forward to.

I dreamed of dancing with you when you got married. I was so sure we would do that together.

I dreamed of our trip to New York we had hoped to take together last fall. I had planned on renting a tuxedo, picking you up at your hotel and taking you on a carriage ride in Central Park, taking you to a play on Broadway. We had a date.

I was sure there would be many more times we would see each other.

There are things that I am sure of, things that I trust.

I will always be your runner, even when I am no longer able to run.

You will be my hero, always and forever.

I will always be grateful for what you taught me, all you gave to me by being you.

I have so many rich memories to treasure because I knew you.

The trip to Disneyland in 2001. So many truly magical memories. One of my favorite memories is the last night when we had dinner at Milly's diner, just talking about our favorite part of the trip. We both had apple pie and ice cream for desert. I don't know why that sticks out. It just seemed like we had been friends forever sharing a quiet moment.

Being able to hug you at the end of the Calgary marathon. If I was smart I would have stopped running marathons that day. Nothing will ever top that moment for me.

Seeing you and Adam walk arm in arm on prom night during your junior year. I will always treasure that memory of the two of you together.

Seeing you graduate from high school.

All the trips to Seattle, being able to share in the experience of seeing you meet Emily.

Sitting next to you on your bed at the Ronald McDonald house as you showed me your scrap booking. Talking about the things you wanted to do in New York.

Hugging you goodbye for the last time and being able to tell you that I loved you.

This is a short part from the finale in Les Miserables. This always makes me think of you.

"And remember the truth that once was spoken, to love another person is to see the face of God".

I am forever thankful for that truth. I love you.

You are my hero!



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