A little over a year ago, my daughter (#3) ran in a local 5K race. Several people who watched told my wife how great our daughter ran and that when I got back home from Afghanistan I should help her run the Disneyland Half Marathon. When my wife and daughter got home from that 5K race they emailed me, and of course I told my daughter that I would help train her to run the next Disneyland Half Marathon. Well today we did just that. We ran stride by stride.
I could say that I was proud of her but that couldn't come close to describe the admiration that I have for her. She was solid the whole race and her pace never slowed. When I was her age, I never had that kind of discipline...and at mile 10 she picked up the pace. All I could do was hang on for dear life. It was such a joy to see her enjoy what she was doing. What kind of words could I use to express my amazement of what she was able to do?
As we ran, I also reflected on my older two daughters as well. When daughter (#1) was a Senior in High School, we ran a half-marathon together, but daughter (#2) was too smart and skipped out of her senior year, heading off to college a year to soon for me. But how I wish they could have been with us today. They both were amazing runners in their own ways.
But there was another special moment as we ran through the park. It was as we passed the Matterhorn. It was more a feeling that thought. In 1960, I was there with my Grandfather. My memory is cloudy at best but I remember holding his hand as I looked at that mountain. And today as I looked at that same mountain for the first time since he held my hand...I felt sure he was still holding my hand.
Today was a good day. My promise kept running a half-marathon with my daughter. A memory kept in remembering my wonderful daughters who were not there with us. And I felt the touch of something eternal...holding a hand of someone who loved me.
So today, I made a new memory with my daughter. It will be there in her life for a long time to come. And maybe some 45 years from today as she runs a half-marathon with her son, she'll remember the time I ran stride by stride with her.