Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Her Memorial Inspires me to Run Faster, Live more Intensely

I often run by the memorial you can see in the picture. It’s for a girl who was hit by a car in 1996. She was 12 when she died.

When I got home after taking the picture, a few months ago, I Googled her name. I found she was hit by a driver who ran a red light. Alycia died on the spot and her friend, of the same age, was severely injured, but he lived. They were on the way back from doing homework at a friend’s house.

Apparently the driver did some time, but was eventually released. I read the testimonies of the friends who were with her that night and the expressions of pain of her parents. That night I had a hard time falling asleep.

Every time I run by her memorial by the sidewalk next to the intersection where she was run over, I salute Alycia. I think of her parents and her friend. I think of my kids. I think about life.

When I run by her memorial I become aware of my feet hitting the ground and, even if I’m tired, even if it’s sweltering hot, I feel good. I’m alive, my kids are healthy and my loved ones are fine. I hope this lasts, but you just never know, and she reminds me of that. We have to squeeze the juice out of life while it lasts.

During the rest of my run, I make a mental gratitude list. And even if I feel like slowing down or walking, I don’t. I keep on running because Alycia can’t. In her honor, I enjoy every minute of my journey. She’s my reality check. RIP.   

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