AsI had written in an earlier post, my father was diagnosed with serious cancer just days after the Boston Marathon. Shortly after my mother passed in May of this year, my sister and the rest of my family quickly found ourselves focusing on the important care and support of my father as he started going through radiation and chemo therapy Shortly after my father started chemo, many complications came to light and he had several long trips in the hospital. I quickly found myself staying with him in the hospital for many of these nights and was extremely happy to be by his side, as was my sister and other family members. In the middle of July, my father entered the hospital for the final time.
An oncologist brought us into the needed discussion about looking at settling down and handling the last few turns on the road of this journey. My father gave this battle everything he had and although his spirit and heart never diminished his physical health did. Ultimately, he never lost the battle with cancer for his grace, appreciation for life and giving nature never changed, even up until his last day. My sister and I brought him home to our beautiful home in New Hampshire and were by his side for his last two weeks and were with him the night he passed. Given the situation, we had an amazing two weeks and could not have asked for a more loving and beautiful time together.
During my fathers last spell in the hospital and shortly after the oncologist told us the difficult news, we had an extremely important conversation. He was laying in bed and I was holding his hand, comforting him and myself at the same time. A peaceful silence was in the room and then I said to him, “You know, I am thinking about trying to break the world record for visually impaired runners in the Boston Marathon. The current holder did it in 2:37:00″. My father immediately responded with “Yeah, you can do it”. I squeezed his hand and said “I will try every year until I can do it no longer”.
My parents taught me many important values for being a good person to others. One of them is that you only make a promise you know you can keep. I make very, very few promises and when I do, I hold true to them. I made this promise to my father and will hold to it. Will I actually break the world record? I have no clue. All I know is that I have a whole lot of determination, heart and fire in me. I also keep looking back to my run of 18 miles in 2:16:00 and recent 5 mile victory in just under 35:00. Those are pretty solid times for a fresh newbie to running.
I will simply keep trying, that is all I can guarantee Just as my father battled cancer, he never gave up, no matter what the odds were.
I will run forever. I will never stop. We will see where I land.