Remembering My Dad on a Long Run - (10-10-09)

October 10th is my Dad's birthday. He would have been Seventy Four years old.

Three years ago on October 16th he passed away in a hospital near Washington DC. He was hooked up to a bunch of equipment for days and we finally made a family decision to take him off life support. He had been battling health problems for years - diabetes, failed kidneys, heart attacks, etc...

My father and I had a rocky relationship. I did not give him much of a break when I was a teenager. Some years we talked a lot and seemed okay and other years I resented him for not being around during my childhood (most of this was after my own son was born).

Before my father died I was lucky enough to make peace with him. We talked one last time on the phone before he was unable to communicate.

I know this is my workout blog, but I need to add some background before I write about my run...

I had a horrible night, I just could not sleep. I woke up at least ten times. I was worried that I was going to over sleep; it was important for me to make this run.

 I finally got up and made it to St. Andrews where I met up with my coach (Greg) and five other runners (Cathy, Joy, Katie, Annie, and another Cathy - Steve caught up to us later). The heat and humidity was unreal - 83 degrees at 5:00am!

We started with a slow warm up mile through the Old Village. After the first mile Cathy and I picked up the pace. We ran up to Ben Sawyer Boulevard and out to Sullivan's Island. We had a good pace going, even with the high heat and humidity. We made it to Breach Inlet and turned around to go back.

I made a stop on the bridge. I needed to do something important...

Almost eleven years ago I married my wife Jennifer on the beach of Sullivan's Island. All of my family had stayed on the island in a huge beach house. Almost every time I talked to my father afterwards he would talk about my wedding and how much he enjoyed the time he was on Sullivan's Island. We even talked about it the last time I spoke with him.

I had carried a small bit of my father's ashes with me on this run. I had thought about taking them to the ocean for the past three years, but it never seemed like the right time.

It was the right time today.

I let them fly into the sky and ocean. I could not help thinking that as I stood on the bridge in the dark with the stars shinning down that he might be looking down on me at that very moment...
I stood there for only a few seconds more and then ran back to meet up with the other runners. We refilled our bottles and headed back to the Old Village.

I finished up as I always do and got in my car to drive home.

I had something else important to do, I was heading home to get ready to coach my son's final football game of the season...


  1. I think what you did was very sweet, and I must be honest when I say that this post made me tear up. Going back to the places of fond memories is very special and I'm sure your father is very proud of you.


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