As the days and hours tick down to my first marathon, my heart becomes more grateful for this opportunity to run. I have trained and I have survived heartache, sadness and loss. I don’t want to put too much emphasis on what this race means to me but it is but another step in my recovery of my core self. In other words, I am putting one foot in front of the other as I move toward the finish line. Each step that I am able to take will be for me.

Last evening in my theology class, one of my brothers who is wise and wonderful, offered me an opportunity that I never dreamed possible. I am such a fledgling in my theological studies, knowing so little of the vast amount of literature out there, but I am deeply honored for this opportunity to learn and serve.

My plans for post medical/surgical practice have been to serve in end of life care for others. I want to serve others in this phase of their lives here on earth in a spiritual as well as physical manner. As I connect very deeply with my patients, their families and others in my life, the natural progress of my empathic nature is to serve.I am grateful for every opportunity that I have to serve others in any manner. This is as much for me as for those I do serve physically and spiritually.

As I think of the last minutes of my dear Gene’s life, I can’t help but consider that he would be alive today if someone had connected with him in that moment. The world lost a tremendously generous and talented man. As I meditate on my runs, I know that I can’t change the past but I can affect the future, mine and the future of those in my care. As everyone that I encounter is a wonder in some way, I see so clearly, I celebrate the wonder of those lives.

My next move is to become completely satisfied with my life as it has turned. Yes, I have been so completely devastated by the loss of one of my friends, I have come to appreciate the fellowship of those who have remained in my life. In time, I hope and pray that my energetic friend will come back and laugh at my stupidity (because I can do this today) but I give him my love and support always. I would travel to the ends of the earth to prevent any pain in his life. If he does not understand that fact, then he had little understanding of me.

Today, this day, my heart is grateful for the challenge to come in two days (the marathon). My heart is grateful for all of my friends who affirm me and are my gifts from God. My heart is grateful the experiences and tasks to come- from which, I will learn and grow. Yes, my tears are flowing but to feel is to live and I will live with every fiber that I can recruit. With growth, comes pain but that pain represents growth for me now. My heart grows with every beat.


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