Being a poet, the image from our Star Spangled Banner, for amber waves of grain, came to mind as I reflect on this amazing journey on the Road to the Boston Marathon. My mind is drawn to nature images; a few days ago it was dandelion seeds blowing in the wind and today it is the beautiful image of waves of grain in the wind which bring waves of healing to my soul.
When last we left this marathoner polio/post polio runner, I was struggling with issues of being left behind and left out. What a blessing that the crew of the Childrens Hospital long run took up their water stations before we arrived because it is a wonderful opportunity to lighten my load as I run - and not just train, not just run races but run my life and run in life. Polio and childhood abuse left deep scars on mind, body and spirit. With the healing hands of Janice Wesley we are reprogramming cellular memory to feel at peace, to feel energized, to feel calm and drawing out the toxins which built up in my body. With prayer and meditation, I look deep inside to release the experiences which were so extraordinarily painful and with the love and support of so many, I move forward in joy. I am so grateful for the communities of my family and so many beautiful people I have met as a result of this undertaking; Twitter, Just Finish, my former patients at the VA,friends old and new and of course, the remarkable community at Spaulding Rehab Hospital.
This morning, the alarm went off at 7 am. Temperature was 25 degrees or so and the sun was shining. In order to get in a training run with my daughter, I needed to get up early so she would have time to get to her classes at Bunker Hill. I had a piece of toast, OJ and oatmeal; water and off we went. We decided we were going to take it easy since we have a half marathon to run on Saturday; it was cold and so we decided to pick up the pace. We did sprints and a tempo while we celebrated being outside in the sunshine. There was a hint of Spring in the air and the birds were singing their hearts out.This is just what God created for me as I was still dealing with the emotional (and physical) residuals of our run on Saturday--and then we met our running friend, Margie on her way to work.
Margie is an avid runner who saw us running this past summer at Wollaston Beach. She stopped my daughter at the end of the summer to tell her how proud she was of her commitment to running every weekend. (Our daughter would run ahead of us on long training runs). We had mentioned in passing we were training to run the Boston Marathon - oh my God - the reality of what is happening in just a few short weeks just hit me and it is magnificent.... Then this past fall and winter we saw Margie running around Jamaica Pond. When I told her my story, she was so moved and gave us her email address. We hadn't heard from her nor had our paths crossed running until this past Saturday. When she hadn't replied to my emails I thought, let go and let God. On Saturday, she seemed to appear out of nowhere; and then today - she asked how Saturday's run went and how much we were running today and she said, 'You are my Hero -- I hope you know that!' I had also received an email from a Twitter friend who is a cancer survivor and going through other health challenges right now and she said, 'You are my HERO'. This isn't about ego but about Spirit and about touching people's hearts with my courage, faith and determination. And it is about my belief and my love for myself and of myself - discovering, uncovering - unveiling the magnificent me whom God created.
I received an email from the Special Events Coordinator from Spaulding in response to the email I sent after Saturday's run expressing my concern about the post race party and she said, 'I am sorry that the water stations were down by the time you got there. And no need to worry about our after party, the hotel rooms will be open for showers and massages until every single person has had an opportunity to go through.
And Mary you are correct - you are in the pack. Doing this, you are part of the
pack! You are doing so much more than most people can say.'
My tears fall as I write this post - tears of liberation; tears of forgivness; tears of gratitude; tears of Truth; tears to bathe my soul and renew; tears of celebration and anticipation - cleansing tears which fall like rain as my soul experiences amber waves of healing.
To learn more about my gift of poetry, visit www.newworldgreetings.com
To make a donation to Team McManus, visit www.firstgiving.com/teammcmanus
See you at the finish line!