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A couple of months ago, the kids asked for me to bring my guitar up and sing a bedtime song.  Sally snuck up and caught it on video.  Back in Amarillo, we had a tradition of making up songs every night.  Around the time we started reading chapter-books together, the song ritual died out.  So I was excited they wanted a song.  You never know what you’re going to get with a made-up song.  Sometimes they’re menacing, like this one, but they’re all made with love.

Cowtown Half Marathon

Around the beginning of November, a coworker suggested that we run the Cowtown Half Marathon together on February 24. I had never in my life run more than 8 kilometers at a time, and even that distance only once. I had not run more than the distance from the baseline to the net in many years. So, of course I’ll run 13.1 miles with you, Josh.

Training started slowly. I only managed two milers the first few times out. On my 14th run, I ran four miles for the first time since that 8K in 2001. My 17th run was a five-miler with Francis pacing me on the bicycle on the Trinity Trail. After seven miles (my 24th run), my knees ached at the top of the fibula on both legs. They continued to hurt throughout my running experience. They hurt today, eight days after my half marathon with no running in between.

My training partner, Josh, dropped out with an injured achilles tendon a week before the race. He gave his race bib to another coworker (who was more prepared than either of us to run this distance).

I had only reached ten miles during my long-run training, so I didn’t know how I would react to the long distance. The run itself was pretty unremarkable. I did lose steam in the last mile and a half, but I made it without walking. Probably a nutrition issue.

The very best part was at ten miles, after the one intimidating hill in the run, George came out and jogged with me for a hundred yards or so. Sally had planned that, but she didn’t expect Sam to dart out and run with us. George was such a workman, running at pace next to me with a stoic and determined look on his face. Sam was a gadfly, flitting around us and giggling like a maniac. The rest of the runners cheered for them when they split off.

My heart was so full.


Thirty years ago today, about this time in the afternoon, my dad came home from work early. It was his last day of work. It was his last day.

A heart attack, his second, took his life a few hours later. I mark this day every year, an anniversary of mourning. Other dates slip in and out of my memory, but June 28, 1982 has always been the day. The day everything changed, though I was too young to understand how. Even the few memories I have before that day are colored by what June 28 would bring. The hallway in front of my bedroom, where my dad eased himself to the floor, is a bottleneck in time and space. Everything before and after travelled through that pinchpoint to arrive here.

And here we are. How would things be different? What lessons would I have learned from him? What injuries would we have inflicted on each other? Would he respect what I have become? These are the kinds of questions I ask, especially on the big round number anniversaries.

November 17, 2012 - 5:42 pm

sarai - Just read this….although I was much older when I lost a parent, I also wonder the same things. But I’m sure he would be proud of you, your beautiful family.