I guess it was one of a number of things that again reinforced the meaning and value of family this week. When we got home a few hours ago - it was eerily quiet - not something we had experienced in the last week - and it, too, kind of sunk home. (That having been said, we DO expect Emily and the Boys back tonight!) So what all happened to bring home thoughts of family? For starters, last weekend there was a great set of events with virtually the entire family (on my side) here and together. We celebrated Karen's birthday on Sunday with a pasta spread extraordinaire (courtesy of Emily's culinary planning). On Monday we celebrated Emily's birthday with a really fun visit to a water park - again everyone there. Then of course, there was the call to Alysia on Wednesday evening with news of a potential heart for Grace. The family mobilized in anticipation, waiting, and lots of prayer. After 12 hours of surgery on Thursday, she came out with a new lease on life - with a grateful family for the heart and a very real awareness of the sacrifice and pain of a family now smaller. Although Grace is hardly out of the woods and has a long, difficult and dangerous road ahead for many months - her events took a toll on sleep - but one we have been glad to pay. Grace's news had come on the heels of some medical information that Karen had learned about that required some additional tests and consultation - and that is always unsettling, as well. (With more information still to come.)
Then there was today. I guess they all worked together to provide a pretty powerful reminder (again) of just how precious family is - and just how grateful I am to be running in this family - which has certainly not come about due to merit.Thank you. And if there is perhaps any message in this post - run each race like it is your last.