Monday, July 23, 2012

I Remember

  • I remember running behind my dad along the side of a street for miles, trying to imitate how he carried his arms and watching him wave at the people in every car that passed by, whether he knew them or not.
  • I remember how he brought a tennis ball for us to bounce and two pieces of gum - one for each of us - along on long runs so that he had something to distract and entertain me with when the road seemed long.
  • I remember him handing me a stick of gum, with the wrapper stuck to the gum because he'd been holding it in his hand for over a mile as we ran along, and saying, "I just chew mine with the paper on it," and so I did the same thing.
  • I remember being impressed at how he knew exactly what the minutes-per-mile pace that we were running was at any given speed, how he knew where every working public water faucet in town was, and how he always seemed to know the mileage along our route but then he'd insist that we drive the course to double-check after the run.
  • I remember him telling my sisters and me to sit on his back while he did push ups.
  • I remember when he ran to my track meet, ten miles away, and how the other kids on the track team said he was crazy when our school bus passed by him on the highway on the way to the meet.
  • I remember when he ran from my grandparents' house in Nashville to Centennial Park, about 11 miles, in freezing cold weather and how when I picked him up in the car I saw that sweat had dripped down and frozen off his ear lobes and it looked like he had earrings on.
  • I remember seeing the needle with the pain medicine being brought in to his room in the ER after he was hit by a car while running in a marathon and hoping the shot hurt him less than his broken leg did.
  • I remember being so angry that I wanted to kill the old lady that ran over him.
  • I remember the hopeful look on his face when he said he was too lucky to get cancer.
  • I remember wishing there was someone I could be angry at then too.
  • I remember turning my head when I answered him so he couldn't see the doubt or the tears in my eyes. 

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