Sunday, November 23, 2008

Racing and Life

Before I started blogging on Blogger, I blogged on Myspace. The title of this post is from a Myspace post from Dec. '07. Here is the first paragraph:

"This past weekend (Fri Nov 30-Dec 2) I was in Dallas visiting a couple I've been friends for many years. The friends moved from OK to TX about 3 years ago. The man was diagnosed with ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease) about a year ago, and is starting to go down hill. He can't walk, can barely talk, and gets around in a motorized wheelchair. Since I knew I was going, typical me, I had to see if there was a race nearby, there was,"

I stopped there, because I went to Dallas again this weekend, and again I found a race.

So now I will talk briefly about the race. I found a 5k in Weatherford TX about 45 miles from where I was staying. My appointment in Dallas was for 1:30 Saturday, and I couldn't just hang out in my hotel until then. So I went to the "Coyote Chase" and ran, came in 2nd in my age group. Well run race, they gave you a nice trophy instead of a medal. Back to last year.

Here is the last paragraph from that '07 post:

"Back to my friend, some people I've talked to about this situation ask me "how can you deal with his illness?" "How can you stand to see this man that you used to hang out with, run a business with, and travel with in this condition? I reply, me? All I have to do is treat him the same as I always have for 3 days, then I'm back home preparing for work or my next race. But he has to deal with things like his wife or caregiver having to wipe his behind and feed him every day. He had to deal with knowing that there is no cure for ALS and it is almost 100% fatal. I got the easy job."

Well Anthony died last week, he was 48, and I went to Dallas to help his wife celebrate his life. She had a wake Friday night, and it was as close to a party as you can get in a funeral home. I spoke very briefly "I look over you all and know that many of you knew Anthony better than I did, and I know that I was not his closest friend, but whenever I was around him, he made me feel like I was his best friend." Everyone who spoke of him said the same thing, they would call or visit to encourage him, and he would turn the tables on them every time. He would always end up encouraging them. He will be missed, but as someone else said, his influence will always be with us.


Willie said...

Great post. Celebrate life.

MarathonRandy said...

Moe, I feel your loss, I went thru a similar time with my Mom (not ALS but stil something very debilitating to her and the family) and it is tough. We truly do have the easy part.

My Mom died in 1999, but for 18 long months prior to that she put our family through nothing like we had ever experienced. The truly sad part was that my two brothers and I would come and go as we all had our own lives in other parts of the county...but my Dad stayed with her 24/7, was always there to care for her and never once did he falter. In the end I was by her side in the hospital. I had just convinced my Dad to go with family to get something to eat and they were gone not even 5 minutes when she crashed for the final time. All the efforts of the doctors and nurses were futile, her battle was over. We knew she was in a better place with her Lord and Savior.

It's been almost 10 years since now, but I still amaze at all my Dad endured...I still feel for the pain my Mom had to makes all the road miles shrink to almost nothing...the marathons appear as just a bump in time.

Every run, from a training run to a 5k to a marathon I thank God for the ability to run, even slowly, and I smile at my Mom for all she gave us over the years and I know she is proud.

Anthony is very proud of you and everyone close to him. You are what true friends are made of and though we are not close I still consider you as a friend and I'm proud of all you are....thanks for sharing.

Sorry I got so long-winded.

Kevin said...

Well said. I'm sorry about your loss and I'm sure your friend's family appreciated your support.

almccasland said...

I'm sorry to hear about your friend. Your words were surely a fitting tribute to him, though.

Just_because_today said...

Your perspective on living changes when you are so close to not living. Seems that Anthony had a great perspective on life. It is tough for the ones left behind.

I like what you said about making you feel like you were his best friend. Sounds like he was a good man. And you a good friend.

Dr. Marc and Tanya said...

Thanks for sharing, makes me think of how short life truly is. EVERY DAY is a blessing! Multiple 365 by 80. Not much time!