I am not a huge fan of 5ks. Seems that I have convinced myself that the only strategy is to start out full throttle and keep it there until finished. So with some reluctance I entered a 5k this past weekend. Primarily to support MMRF and my neighbor.
My neighbor and friend is one of the two* bravest people I know. His courage as well as his devotion and love for his family is inspirational.
I’ve known him (and his family) since my wife and I moved into the neighborhood 24+ years ago. Their house is at the end of our street on a beautiful lot and was once the farm house for the apple orchard with which our neighborhood now sets. For three generations his family has lived and owned the house. It’s beautiful with it’s large landscaped front yard enclosed with a picketed white fence – the yard is dotted with dogwood trees where occupied wooden bird houses hang randomly. I’ve sat with him and his wife on the wraparound porch that stretches the entire front of the house and then again around one side. A bench swing hangs there that could not be more inviting and comfortable. Every spring there is one dogwood that explodes with blossoms- It’s our favorite tree on the street and a welcomed signal from spring.
My friend has three children, all reflecting the love and values of their parents. One child has NF1 and is deaf and to watch them sign together is to witness a glimpse into their personal circle of love.
My friend has Multiple Myeloma – I honestly had never heard of or paid any attention to this cancer until my friends diagnosis.
Physically MM has taken it’s toll on my friend. Mentally I have never seen such courage. I am not naive to the physical and emotional challenges that can affect a family who has/is facing a devastating disease but despite these challenges he and his family appear to glow with life!
Running is my mental therapy to balance. Courage can be gained through running but running does not have sole ownership of my admiration of those who face adversity. My friend and his family are facing adversity with grace and courage.