Thursday, May 3, 2012

One foot in front of the other

I saw a dear friend at a coffee shop on Saturday.   Someone I have know mainly through running.  I don't know her real well and yet I care about her deeply.  She has been a big part of my life, a big part of the Denver running community.

I walked right past her the first time, did a double take.  She looked different.  I turned around and went back to the table where she was sitting.  It was her.

She stood up and we hugged.  I was so happy to see her.  I wasn't sure if I would get to see her again.  I wondered how she was doing.

I found out a couple of months ago there was a serious medical challenge to face.  I found out over the following  weeks that the challenge was cancer.  There was no other information, cancer...

She told me that her prognosis is not good.  Stage 4, small intestine cancer.  30% chance of survival.

There was a  60th birthday to celebrate on April 23.  Her doctors had told her she wouldn't make it to that day.

"My doctor's have written me off.  I will not let them put the punctuation mark on my life. That is up to God" she told me.

25 pounds lost since starting chemo treatments.

An Aurora police captain takes her to the chemo treatments. Takes the day off from work and stays with her the entire time, takes her back home.

She told me she still tries to walk 5 miles a day.  She doesn't care how long it takes her to do that.

She told a young man sitting with her how important it is in life to keep putting one foot in front of another.  So simple, so powerful.

She was going to participate in Cherry Creek Sneak on Sunday.  She knew she could walk a 5K.  She choose the 5 mile event instead.

"I am worried that I might fall tomorrow and I know that if I fall, someone will help me get back up."

She was serene in that knowing.  Someone will pick me up, someone has my back.  If I fall, someone will help me.

I felt tears welling in my eyes as we talked.  I loved her faith, her strength, her courage.

She asked about my family, she always does.

We hugged each other goodbye.  We said I love you to one another.

I felt sad.  Another person touched be such a cruel, heartless disease.

I felt so blessed that I had the chance to see her again.  Tell her how much she touched my life, she matters to me.

She is planning her next 5K event, End of Watch as a race director in late September.   She is moving forward, one foot in front of another...End of Watch 5K benefits police and fireman who are killed at the end of their watch.

I felt incredibly inspired!  Doctor's simply can't measure a person's heart.  Her conviction that only God could place the punctuation mark on her life was so strong.  Trusting she might fall and someone would pick her up.

I was watching one of my favorite movies yesterday(Saint Ralph) and loved these questions from Father George Hibbert.   If you have never seen the movie, fast forward to 3:30 of the video.

"Did you ever put it on the line?  Did you ever not know know and still jump?  Did you ever close your eyes and let go?"

Here is to not knowing and jumping, trusting someone will be there to pick us up if we fall.

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