Tag Archives: johnny kelley

Running from the Reaper

Today, I would like you to meet the front of our refrigerator:

“Hello, people of CIR!” says our fridge

As you can see, I love a fully decked out fridge front. I can be quite particular about organization and neatness, but not when it comes to this! I think it is because a beloved family friend, Mrs. King, had the most busy fridge face I have ever seen (to this day!) and getting lost in it was a favorite pastime when we visited them as I was growing up. Oh, the excitement of finding my school picture up there, among all the others who loved this woman as much as I did!

In any case, ours generally functions as most do – a snapshot of what is happening in our lives and who we are. You have your wedding invitation/save the date/bridal shower/baby shower invites, your family pics, your New Zealand kiwi postcard, and, of course, a myriad of running odds and ends. Currently, I have my marathon training plan for Philly (training starts on the 30th!!!! Yahooo!!! Nothing better than a plan, says Kashi) a pace chart, some running quotes, this cartoon my dad sent me aways back that always makes me lol:

and this picture that I ripped out of a Runner’s World magazine years ago:

This is a statue of a famous long distance runner, Johnny Kelley, at two stages of his life –  27 and 84.

The first time I saw this picture, I stared at it for a long moment. In fact, I find myself still doing that quite often. I  find the image striking and tender and it makes me want to cry and be happy at the same time. I’ve thought a lot over the years about why it strikes such a chord with me and I think it is because it is an honest, yet sweet, reminder that the time we have on earth is short and that while we are here, we are in constant flux.

I am not a person who comfortably lives with the notion that death is a part of life. Instead, I find myself in an uneasy relationship with it – tiptoeing around it, hoping not to wake the sleeping monster. I hate the idea that one day everyone I love will be gone. That I will be gone. It is not so much that the world will miss me, but how much I will miss the world. I want to stay on our blue bubble for as long as possible.

So I run. I run to keep my heart healthy, my knees and joints in good working order (it’s true! read this ), my brain active. I run to remember that every day counts and we don’t get any of them back. I run so that my 27 year old self will be able to meet my 84 year old self and share the road, hand in hand. I run from death, a hopeless pursuit that I whole heartedly engage in just the same, year in and year out, with my fingers crossed that I’ll be able to outpace ‘ol Mr. Reaper, if only for a few extra miles.

Note: Although it is being posted tonight, in a strange coincidence I wrote this blog just before the tragedy in Aurora, Colorado. I for one will be hugging GD even tighter tonight, grateful for one more day together. My heart is heavy for the victims and their families tonight.

What does your fridge face look like?

Are you on good terms with Mr. Reaper or live in fear of meeting him?

What do you run from?

 

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