You never know what life will throw at you. Because of being sick, Mindy and I were unable to finish our 18-mile run on Saturday.
Our week off turned out to do WONDERS for us. We both knocked out a nearly 9-mile run last Wednesday. We felt great and really loved the cooler weather. We were anxious to do the 18-miler, since that is WAY more than we’ve done yet, but it will have to wait until next weekend.
Speaking of life and it’s knack of never being what you expect, I had moments of reflection this weekend on the 10th anniversary of September 11th. Sunday morning, I found myself drinking my coffee while playing with Heidi on the floor. Her sweetness and innocence in contrast to the 9/11 memorial footage on tv brought tears to my eyes. I remember ten years ago, when I was in my high school English class, and my teacher flipped on the news. I found Cody waiting for me outside my classroom, grabbed his hand, and told him what had happened. In my next class, I watched the second plane hit the towers. I remember feeling so sad and scared.
While nobody I knew was hurt or killed that day, I still had tears. I had nightmares, ones that I remember specifically to this day, for a couple weeks following the attacks. I had sadness and fear and doubt.
I doubted it was a good idea to bring children into such a dark world. I had grown up wanting to be a mom, but the idea of subjecting someone so beautiful and precious and innocent to a place full of evil and sickness and ugliness seemed overwhelming. How do you teach them, raise them, protect them from awful things that seem to lurk at every turn?
I’ve gotten older and wiser and pregnant since then. I had my daughter Heidi just over a year ago. Many days it takes my breath away how IN LOVE with her I am. And it’s not a love that can ever be replaced. Each and every morning, she greets me with a smile that could outshine the sun.
I’ve realized that not only is it a good idea to bring a child into this world, it’s our duty, as long as we are able. Because it is up to us to teach goodness and mercy and compassion and grace. It is up to us to help our little boys and girls find joy and to love with the only kind of audacity that can rival and outdo that of evil. We can make and raise babies that can overcome evil with GOOD. We can teach and stir their hearts for things that are noble and beautiful. We can hold their hand and walk alongside them and show them how to shine.
I hope this marathon and the money we raise is one of those ways I can leave a legacy and show Heidi she really can make a difference, literally. It may be awhile before she understands it, but when she looks back at those pictures of herself in the jogging stroller, her little sun hat flying in the wind, I hope she realizes she was part of something bigger than herself.
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5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome[a] it. john 1:5