Friday, January 2, 2015

26 Reasons to Run - Reason #3

A marathon is 26.2 miles.... that's a lot of miles, and since I'm not a fast runner, that's a lot of time to be out there running. When one is logging long miles (and long hours), there is plenty of time for sight-seeing, plenty of time for making new friends or enjoying the company of old friends... and plenty of time to get lost in ones thoughts.

When the miles start to take their toll, and I start contemplating all the reasons that I don't actually need to finish this darned run anyway... I bring my thoughts to the reasons that I find myself out on the course, and raising money to help find a cure for cancer.

Here is reason #3 that I run, and that I am trying to help find a cure for cancer.

I run in memory of WAYNE

I met my friend Faith back in the 90s sometime. You know how it goes with some friends... once they have become an intrinsic part of your life, it feels like you can't remember a time when you didn't know them. She is such a friend. Although we live in different countries, thousands of kilometres apart, we try our best to make sure we see each other at least once a year...

The last time I saw Faith was in May... my husband and I went to her house for dinner and a rousing game of "go fish" with her and her family. Wayne was living with her by that time. He had been diagnosed with colon cancer in March, and had undergone surgery to remove it, but the cancer metastasized and by the time we saw him in May he had decided that he was going to focus on quality of life rather than quantity. He moved to Nova Scotia so he could see his daughters and grandchildren daily. 

Wayne's journey through life ended in mid-December.

These are his daughter Faith's words...
My Dad passed away peacefully yesterday just before 3pm on a glorious 12 degree sunny December day.He loved greatly and he will be missed greatly. A testament to a lifetime spent giving love and kindness to others.
Yes, he once gave a homeless man the actual shirt off of his back. True Story 
Dad felt that Christ's love was best demonstrated through helping others, a belief he acted on at every opportunity. To honour his memory in this Christmas season I would ask that in lieu of flowers, please give as your heart dictates. Give that money to your favourite charity, family, adult or child that you feel to be most in need.
A local service will follow in the coming weeks, and an audio link will be posted of the service for those not local and able to attend. We would request for those friends not living in Halifax to take comfort in spending time at home with family over Christmas, as Dad would want.
He was very much looking forward to what he called his "graduation day" and would remind you all that that he though he is absent from the body, he is now present with the Lord.

This was the code that he lived by:
“For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.”         
“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you’”        “
The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’”

Matthew 25:35-40

During mile #3, I'll be thinking of Wayne, and his infectious smile and joie de vivre... I'll be thinking of how he'd come to visit me while I was working at his daughter's fruit stand, and give away the produce to those that he felt needed it, carefully polishing each piece until it was free of dust and dirt, as near to perfect as it could possibly get... before passing it to the most outwardly flawed and unkempt members of our community.

Thank you for the lessons, Wayne. And thank you for your love.

To honour Wayne's memory, I ask that you too give as your heart dictates. If helping to find an end to blood cancers is in your heart, please use the link to my fundraising page in the upper right corner and make your life saving donation to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. If your heart guides you to another cause, then go there and give what you are able... be it your time, your money and/or your presence. 

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