I was talking to Bob a few days ago.
And I was sobbing (heart see: sleeve).
I told him I was tired. I was tired of feeling so much. And fighting so hard. I told him I thought I’d never cross the finish line. I felt like I was never going to come out on the other side.
So much has happened the last few years (both good, and bad). I recognize I’m supposed to be learning some epic life lessons. I get that I’m being given the opportunity to become whole, again (maybe whole for the first time). But the process has been, and continues to be, painful (to say the least).
Despite the ways (both good, and bad) Bob has been impacted by all of this living and learning – he was understanding (Bob typically is).
Then he told me a story.
Which made me cry even harder.
Nice work Bob.
I cut and paste the story Bob shared with me below. It’s best coming straight from the sources.
From: Randy | Runnin’ for Rhett
Sent: Wednesday, April 24, 2013 3:27 PM
Subject: R4R | Capital City Classic | Great story
Hey guys….I’d like to share a story that was sent to me earlier today from teacher/coach Mark at Valley Oaks Elementary in Galt.
I met Aiden at the start line….and had NO IDEA that he’d do the entire 2.62 miles. I’m so proud of him.
Please read the note below…and then open the photo of Aiden crossing the finish line, nearly 3 hours after the start of the race. CLASSIC!
Changing lives….changing families. Go RHETT!
Executive Director & Rhett’s Dad
Runnin’ for Rhett Foundation
Sent: Wednesday, April 24, 2013 10:16 AM
Subject: cool stuff
Hey guys- first of all, thank you very much for the wonderful opportunity that you provide for all of the families in r4r- what a fun training period capped off by a great run on a beautiful day! I have a story for you:
At the fall Run Because You Can race, a 5th grader named Arianna participated for the first time in r4r. I was really proud of her because I had never seen her so active in my PE classes as she was in r4r- she really took to it and did a great job! After the race, her mom was sitting by one of the trees in Crocker Park and had tears in her eyes- she talked about how proud she was of her daughter and also expressed her hope that her son Aiden could run one day too. Aiden has cerebral palsy and uses a walker to move around campus- when I have him in PE, some days are easier than others for him to participate, depending on his strength and mobility. I was thinking it would be neat for him just to come out and see what it is all about- him running was a stretch in my mind.
At the spring CCC last weekend, as Arianna was checking in to get her bib, the family let me know that Aiden wanted to run too- we grabbed a shirt for him and his dad got him all set- I didn’t know how far he would go or how long he would last, and it really didn’t matter- to see him with his dad and all of the other runners was awesome in itself! As we started, Randy said hi to him and he was on his way.
After the race was over, I was back in Elk Grove at a baseball practice when my phone rang- it was 11:20 and his mom wanted to let me know that Aiden had just finished. Some of the competitive runners took pictures with him and presented him with a medal- just one of the many memories he has of that day!
I’m writing this because I’m pretty sure that Arianna and Aiden don’t “move into life” without Runnin for Rhett. When I think about their family’s experience that day, I think of words and thoughts such as IMPACT, ACCOMPLISHMENT, FULFILLING, FAMILY, TOGETHERNESS, WILL, SPIRIT… my guess is Rhett was smiling looking, down on him crossing the finish line.
Thx again- mark
Even after all of the runners were long gone…
Even though they were taking down the start and finish lines (which they quickly put back up when they noticed Aiden coming around the bend)…
Despite the fact that his 2.62 mile journey was longer than everyone else’s journey that day…
Aiden kept taking steady steps forward.
He never gave up.
And he didn’t take any shortcuts.
Shortcuts weren’t even an option for him. They probably didn’t even cross his mind.
This is what fight and drive are supposed to look like.
We should all be reminded.
I know I needed to be.
Lastly, I think we can all agree…
Aiden is one sincerely inspiring little boy with one seriously brave heart.