Tuesday, April 19, 2011
On The Wings of Love
As I was reflecting on these past four months and especially Marathon Monday, this song came to mind. I have a collage of photo memories playing in my mind's eye. At the center of the collage is a beautiful 13 year old young man who is Tom's patient partner. Notice I said - is - Tom's patient partner. He is and as long as Tom has legs to run 26.2 miles and I have a heart beating to fund raise, Christos will be Tom's patient partner.
I remember the day we received the letter that Tom had a patient partner. We were excited but didn't quite know what that meant. We had know idea that Christos would take us on the wings of love to soar to heights of emotion and to ignite the love in a community. We had know idea that we would have all of Boston University's Morse Auditorium chanting Christos Christos. Earlier that week, Christos was in ICU and we all harnessed the power of prayer to help him heal from his latest infection. We had no idea that people's hearts would be touched by Christos' story and a flood of love in the form of donations totalling almost $10,000 would be posted to Tom's fund raising page. As 'big' donors handed me checks, they said, "if he does it again next year, come see me.' Boston University wants to make Music for Miracles an annual event.
We were so blessed to have a team of 5 BU photojournalism students chronicle Tom's Road to the Boston Marathon and beyond the finish line. Coordinating Marathon Monday was a logistical challenge worthy of the New England Patriots play book. How would a student get to the start? How would we have access to the finish line? What if the AT & T athlete alert didn't work as it had not worked last year? Where were the best spots to capture Tom along the course. It all worked out and I cannot wait to share the photos with you.
The most memorable moment came at mile 24 when Tom saw Christos and the entire Couturier family along with two of the students. (One of the students made it back in from the starting line.) Tom and Christos hugged and then they ran together for almost a mile of the route. Tom got the crowd chanting Christos Christos. This time no one was looking into the lens of a video camera while Christos was at Childrens Hospital. This time, Christos was there soaking up the love, healthy and overflowing with love and joy. As Tom took his time with Christos, I was nervously waiting at the finish line. I KNEW that Tom would finish. I did not know how or when especially since at mile 8 he was having a calf issue. I knew that he would make it on the wings of love and all the prayers of our friends and family.
Tom later told me he was out of gas when he got to Boston College after the Newton Hills. He went out fast - a 9:29 pace and at mile 8.3, one of the friends we made along the journey sent me a facebook message that Tom looked good but could we send some calf love his way. Uh oh I thought - what does that mean? Tom had a gastroc tear in his calf but thanks to Kennedy Brothers Physical Therapy, he was fit and fine to run Boston. When I saw his pace for the half, I knew that he might have been tight from having gone out as fast as he did. He saw his physical therapist at mile 21 and when she asked him how he was feeling, he said, fantastic. Believe and your thoughts will create the fact.
We got the call from one of the students posted at Hereford and Boylston that he was on his way. Such excitement and when we spotted his Childrens Hospital singlet with his white Brooks hat and screamed Tom he looked over. It was a Kodak moment and I got to see my husband cross the finish line of the 115th Boston Marathon. As we debriefed about his run, we noticed the similarities between running a marathon and the marathon of life. You know you are going to finish; you may not know how or when but when you go on the wings of love, the journey is delicious.
Thank you to Marathon Sports for your generous donations and for the view from the finish line!
To L Street Running Club for giving me the opportunity to share my journey on the wings of love at the pre marathon meeting last week (and for the cool L Street Running Jacket)
To Kathy Cortelyou of Kennedy Brothers Physical Therapy for helping Tom recover from what could have been a game changing injury and cheering him on yesterday.
And to all of the businesses, friends and family for helping us to fly on the wings of love on this amazing journey.
God bless, be well and live like you were dyin'
From my heart to yours with love and gratitude,