In February 2008 my aunt, LaVonda Wright passed away after her battle with cancer. I rode down to Salt Lake with my brother Rich to attend the funeral and had opportunity to reconnect with family I hadn't seen in many years. I also had the great pleasure of learning a valuable life lesson that I have been reminded of each year at this time since then.
During and after the service, everyone who was close to her told stories of her love and compassion for others and how selfless she was on many levels. I looked around at all the people who had attended the funeral and thought to myself, I don't even know this many people, she must have been a great friend to many people. And furthermore, of all the people I know how many of them would attend my funeral and have something good to say about me. I made a commitment to myself that day to live my life in such a way that it will be a life worth celebrating when my day comes.
As Rich and I were preparing to leave and head home back to Boise my Uncle Larry Wright told people if they wanted to take some flowers with them they were welcome to. There were many beautiful arrangements, but I chose one that contained flowers that were grown from bulbs in a really nice stone bowl. I was thinking they would last longer than cut flowers and I really liked the bowl.
When the flowers were done blooming I decided to plant the bulbs in my flower garden. I am reminded each year of Aunt LaVonda and her example as well as my commitment to myself when I see those beautiful flowers popping up in the beds. Yesterday was that day.
As I reflect on my promise to myself, I can't help but think that the obstacles as well as triumphs in my life have been placed there for a distinct purpose. Unfortunately, it seems like the purpose is never clear so I always try to take everything with a smile, encourage others, and share my experiences in hopes that someone else may be able to take inspiration from both the highs and the lows.
I have been working on a journal entry about when Michelle and I ran the St. George Marathon last fall and it's basically done. I just haven't posted it. I just want to be able to include Michelle's perspective. She ran the same race on the same day but our experiences were unique in their own way so I want to include both. I mentioned this at our CFC Home Group last night and was surprised to find out that people actually read this blog and would like to hear the story so we committed to 'publishing' it before we leave for Boston.
I wanted to share one piece of the St George race report that kept rolling through my mind as I was admiring the beautiful flowers and thinking of my Aunt yesterday.
..........(October 3, 2010) On the way home as I reflected on the weekend many things brought a smile to my face. I was thinking that running has been a kind of metaphor for life. This weekend taught me to feel compassion, enjoy the beautiful scenery, recall the power of child's smile brought on by a total stranger, determination, hard work, and most importantly the value of family. If it takes running a marathon to remind me of all these blessings in my life I will continue doing this as long as I am able and in the end ......... the time on the clock will be of little importance.
Make it a great day everyone.