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Archive for October, 2012

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His name is Tim, and he has taught us all something about how to live, and one day, how to die.

I’ve only met Tim once, as have most of the young runners pictured below. Some of the adults pictured above have never met him at all. And yet, he has inspired us all by his courage and his leadership of his family in the face of severe trial.

Tim has suffered from cancer for years, but only recently has it reached the critical stage we would refer to as life and death. He has young children, one of which has run with our group in previous weeks. For this reason, Tim chose the path of resistance, and the will to live, to undergo major surgery and a painful, lengthy recovery to possibly extend his years of influence.

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The night before he went under the knife, Tim shot this picture, and a family video reflecting their faith in God and peace, “Even if the healing doesn’t come”. While a link to his video is not available, here is the original. I hope the message is as meaningful to you as it has been to many of us.

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“Jack Sparrow: Do ya fearrr deaaath?”.

The voice of the silver screen Davy Jones resonated clearly. The problem was, I’m not Jack Sparrow, nor was I watching a movie.

“100 years before the mast”: and as you can well see, a right tall mast it was indeed. If our young college friends hadn’t shown up, 100 years is about how long it would have taken me to finish this job.

But first, back to the voice of death. You see, by late afternoon all but the high mast work was done out front, and the friends had moved on to other parts of the job. I found ‘meself alone on the highest yardarm. If you see that little pitch of roof in the background, the “small” white stretch of soffit above that was all standing between me and getting rid of the 24 hour rental mast. But, a funny thing happened (not) on the way to being done. I felt like it would be most efficient to scale that stretch of roof to get the work done quickly. However, once off the ladder and on the roof, the word “pitch” took on a whole new meaning, and the voice of Jones rattled in my head.

I assume it was a funny way of talking to myself, essentially saying “why did you just do that, dummy”. I did get a little paint applied, but any motion and I felt like I would slide right off, with a thorn covered rose bush or a sidewalk as my two choices of main deck a number of cubits below. After sitting there for what seemed like forever, whistling and calling for my friends, I knew, like my friend Jack, that I was all alone with my multiple personas.

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I’m typing this now, so clearly I made it down in one peace, and yes, I do fear death. Not really death itself, but maybe the act of dying, especially the falling off a roof and through the rose bush en route to the concrete below variety.

So, thanks are in order to my “Honorary” friends. You saved me from a hundred years before the mast, and from future opportunities to talk to myself. Your paint job looks nice, too… 🙂

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