Friday, February 14, 2014

Back to Reflections--Judging a Heart

It has been several days since I've blogged.  In that time I've done two runs and taken a number of days off.  Monday was a planned day off.  Tuesday was a track on the treadmill run a mile shorter than planned as something tightened up.  That put me up to 240 miles at the end of six weeks.  Right on schedule.  Wednesday was a planned day off.  Thursday everything was a mess because of snow and I did not even leave the house except to shovel.  So I took an unplanned (but predicted) rest day.  Then today, the snow was still bad enough to cancel school and keep the University closed.  However, by afternoon the roads were better.  I ran 12 on the treadmill (5 at 8 min/mile and 7 at 8:34/mile with a slight incline).  That felt good.  That puts me up to 252 miles.  I am on US Route 40 headed west and near the border of Pennsylvania and West Virginia.

One reason I did not write was because the death of a friend's daughter.  26 years old.  Married.  Sudden.  Complication from acute leukemia.  Massive stroke.  Prognosis not good from the time it occurred.  Gone in less than a day.  Complete and total devastation.  

I could not imagine this happening to one of my sons some day. Hopefully I won't have to.

The key here is what happened afterwards.  I know the parents from a training group with one of the local running stores.  Everyone in the group was nice.  They were among the nicest.  I knew the woman a little better as we had some overlapping professional interests as well as the common interest in running.

The number of people from the running group who expressed sympathy on social media was amazing.  Of course, the number of people in general who expressed sympathy was amazing.  The parents touched many lives.  And many people felt the need to give some emotional connection back

Then there is the daughter's page.  She did not have tight privacy settings.  There was an outpouring of emotion there as well.

It was heartbreaking.  And yet it was also uplifting.

Then, today, a friend posts a quote from the Wizard of Oz.  In the movie, the Wizard says to the Tin Man, "A heart is judged not by not by how much you love; but by how much you are loved by others."  I didn't know the daughter.  I know the parents showed amazing love.  But I know from what I have seen since the young woman passed away unexpectedly that she and her family all had big hearts.  They were obviously loved greatly by many others.

Knowing the parents in this family through running means that I am joined with them in having a physically strong heart.  I can only hope that when my time comes to die that my heart will be judged to have been as strong emotionally in being loved by others.

As an aside since today is also Valentine's Day, I may have truly surprised my wife for once.  (Or at least more than I did when I proposed to her back in the spring of 1991.)  I ordered flowers to be delivered to the hotel where she ended her day today with my son and his girlfriend.  The two kids will be auditioning at Oberlin tomorrow.  Since we could not spend Valentine's evening together we had actually had dinner earlier this week.  But I thought it would be nice to get flowers in shades of her favorite color to brighten her weekend after a long drive.  She sounded truly surprised when she called.  My son and his girlfriend knew and took a picture and sent it to me when they arrived.  So, that is a good sign of just how intertwined and happy our two hearts are.   

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