I write about my life and life itself seen through my eyes for who can write through the experiences of others if not their own?

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Time Running Out for Some
Rock hill Run and Ramble

The forecast called for heavy rains. I didn’t bother checking. I had to do this race.

I drove to the site of the Run and Ramble 45 minutes earlier. The air was humid and the sun was peaking out much to our surprise. I shook hands and kissed babies. It always feels good to be back on the headquarters of the company I worked for for so many years. Friends I worked with greeted me with open arms, some calling my name in the crowd. All asked the same common question “How do you feel?” .

I lined up among 801 other runners and walkers. Kenyans, local elites, women and men pushing strollers. People of all types, runners and non, all standing elbow to elbow -hopefully all of us wearing deodorant- in this humid day waiting for the gun to go off.

My friend Suzy balanced herself on a stand and gave us the “GO”. I jogged for a few minutes until the crowd opened up and I could run, not much faster than my jog!

I could hear my husband behind me yelling at friends – Lord, the man never shuts up. I passed and was passed. I felt out of breath the entire way and finally reached the finish line completely spent. Now the real event could start.

I went back to walk my oncologist in his final mile. It is nice to chat with him under different circumstances in a place without the sanitary smell of the hospital I always see him. I rather take sweat anytime.

I looked at that clock and thought how relative time is. Today there is a man in the hospital, a man who a year ago shared the podium pleading for a transplant. He has not found it and his time is running out like it did for Jared, the 18 year old also on that podium a year ago.

When my friend handed me the microphone, I could only think of those two men and urged people to participate in the donor drive. I was proud to see my husband do it.

This year’s beneficiary was Ellen, a 9 year old wearing a bandana covering her bold head. I came over and hugged her, talked to her a few minutes, showed the hair that one day had also fallen out but she was overwhelmed and scared. Interesting how years ago I would avoid anyone sick and today, I seek them out. Someone said once that I "advertise my illness", I prefer to think of it as a reality I face and if it helps some in the process, then it's good.

The Run and Ramble is a great race but it is more than that to me. And today again, I pray that I’ll be there next year and that Ellen will be too.