Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: FINISH (05/26/16)
- TITLE: Four Months
By Maribeth Brownhill
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It is hard for me to think about finishing this race, let alone starting it. You see, this was to be my first Half Ironman. And I was to run it with my husband, Dean. He registered us as soon as it was possible to do so, for fear it would sell out. And it did, actually. Once registered, he set about the task of planning out our entire training schedule from start to finish. You guessed it, he's actually been doing these things a while. It was of course my husband's idea for us to do this thing together in the first place. He was on top of the world that we would be doing one together.
That is why it is so hard for me to think about starting this race, let alone finishing it. Because four months from now, on September 30th, when I wake up at the crack of dawn to head down to the chilly starting line at the Savannah River in Augusta, he will not be by my side. He will not be there to remind me not to forget my timing chip. Or my sunglasses, even though it is not yet daylight. Or to prepare my pre-dawn breakfast, as he has done for me on so many early race mornings in our past. He will not be there to help me figure out where to even go to line up. He isn't here now, encouraging me not to give up on my dreams, as has been his practice since we met four fabulous years ago. He's not here reminding me how strong I am. And telling me what a "great swimmer" I am. Or signing me up for all manner of races along the way in preparation for our "A" race. And he won't be there at the finish line telling me how amazing I am and how proud he is of me. And how awesome I did. Even if I am the last one to finish.
Because my "Honey", as I so-often called him, isn't here anymore. And you are probably wondering why. And I would love to tell you. But I don't truly know the answer myself. Other than that on January 30th, 2016, my unbelievably amazing husband -- the man I believed I would be running races with until we both were too old to run any longer -- turned in his timing chip in this race we call life. He has "...finished the race..." as they say. (2 Timothy 4:7) You see, on the last day of January of this year, my sweetheart made the worst decision of his life. He chose to end it. In our car. On the highway. Right before my very eyes. So it is hard for me to finish a thought. A sentence. A cup of coffee. Let alone even think about finishing this race. But finish the race I will.
Suicide leaves a lot of unanswered questions in its wake. And I am not going to pretend that I didn't spend the greater part of the past four months searching like a private investigator for those missing pieces. I did. But ultimately, I serve a Loving God who helped me realize that He loves me (John 3:16) and He has a plan for my life (Jeremiah 29:11) and that He will never leave me nor forsake me (Deuteronomy 31:6) and that this is my opportunity to ...."run with perseverance the race set out before" me. (Hebrews 12:1).
So on September 30, 2016, God willing, I intend to "Rise and Race, Baby", as was the phrase Dean loved to bellow as he awoke me from my slumber, so excitedly on race day. And I will do my best to make my husband, and God, proud. I may not be the fastest swimmer, biker, or runner, but I will persevere. Because sometimes that is all we can do.
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