Friday, November 5, 2010

Run Dad Run

On Sunday, my husband will be running the New York Marathon. While I can kind of take credit for getting him into running, for urging him to accompany me on the routine 5 or 10Ks that we’d run in the city pre-kids, I most certainly can’t take credit for the 26.2 miles he will complete this weekend.

It is with wonder and awe that I’ve watched him train over the past few months. While many start marathon-training in the spring or sooner, Des didn’t start until late this summer, after his brother passed away. We lost Conor to lung cancer at the age of 47; he was diagnosed in February and was gone in July. We watched him suffer and, I can’t help but note that we suffered too. We intimately experienced the horror of this disease and, not surprisingly, it hit Des especially hard.

Conor was his big brother, his best friend, his confidante, his rock. He taught Des how to throw a fastball and field a ground ball; how to throw a football and drive a stick shift. More recently, he was the guy we relied on to walk our dog, help feed the triplets and always appear with a smile on his face and a helping hand.

Des also lost his Dad to lung cancer. His Dad was a genius of a man who, ironically enough, devoted his life to researching the disease. They are now both gone, both far too soon. But, rather than sit around and mope about how unfair life is, rather than wallow in sorrow, rather than turning into a bitter, angry man, my guy has channeled his energy into something positive. He decided to run the marathon to raise money for lung cancer research and, while he's not yet run the race, he's already exceeded his finanical goal.

He has literally pounded pavement and trails near and far, in darkness and light. He’s given up the second glass of wine, late night TV, Saturday morning Ultimate Frisbee and much more, all in the name of reaching this goal. While the spoken goal is completing 26.2 miles and crossing the finish line in Central Park, I think there are unspoken goals as well; I think there is a desire to find some good in the evil of this disease and to find peace after an especially tumultuous time in our lives. With all my heart, I hope he reaches all his goals – those spoken and unsaid. I will be cheering him on and, with five kids in tow, suspect I too will feel like I have run a marathon by the end of the day!

If you wish to make a donation to help fight lung cancer – to help fund research that will fuel early prevention and perhaps one day even find a cure, please visit:

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