A Real Running Collection

The phone rang last Sunday. “Hi I’m Amy. I need a running partner, I heard you run, do you want to run with me?”

Sweet music to my ears. Tuesday morning at 6 a.m. – out the door and 5 fast miles with Amy. Fast Amy. Can’t talk on the hills with Amy. Now I want to run a marathon again with Amy. Chat and talk and smile and laugh. Smiling from ear to ear all the way home. Shower and make coffee. No one awake yet. Bliss.

Bliss – I’ve discovered this week, will not and can not be determined by the circumstances of life.

Children will decide to do things their own way. Children will chew with their mouth open and say they don’t like the potato soup you made for dinner and then beg for their sticky lollipop they got at a birthday a month ago that is orange and where is it and nothing else matters until the orange lollipop is unwrapped and in hand.

How do I hold on to the joy of running with a friend in the thick of this? Teething boy. Learning how to climb boy. Wanting to eat all the melty beads on the floor boy. Eating everything in sight boy.

The week slides by and life piles and I call Amy. Wanna run? 5:45 a.m.  – Out the door and down the road and out of the car and pitter pat in the dark. Run and talk and breathe and fill up.

Mile four. Man hole sticking up. Bam. It stings. There is blood. I’d rather blood than twisted tendons or broken bones. Up again. Run with dripping blood. Still filled up. Smile all the way home. Smile through a shower and coffee before the children wake. Love on George. He leaves for meetings.
11 a.m. Smiling still. Working in the yard while children trampoline. I see the rusty nail. I avoid the rusty nail. I don’t move the nail. Step and shriek and curse words and wash and alcohol and load the children in the car. Tetnus shot and antibiotics for the second time in a month after no antibiotics for four years. The children love watching Mom  get doctored and return home to doctor stuffed animals.

Can I hold the smile? Company comes. I hold it. Company leaves. It falls. Falls to the exhaustion. Falls to leaving important papers from George's work with hand written notes on every page in the rain in a box that was supposed to go to the shed. 

It falls to missing George and not quite knowing how to interact with the children without him day after day. Falls to balancing way more than I bargained for.

Limping and bruises and banged. Not feeling the bliss. It really isn’t about that though.  It takes something besides the strength of humanity to find joy and so it is up to the moment on the floor with fiddle and son, making collages of the fourth day of creation and the moment for a movie and a moment like this – Finding solace in prayer and grace for the next step.


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