Tuesday, April 22, 2008

My Sister Sandy

Non-running post for Earth Day. My sister passed away 2 years ago today. She was in a terrible car accident on Long Island. Whenever I do the McNaughton Park race, I think of her. The accident, her coma, and death happened when I was training for the 100 miler. Feels good to have finally finished that darn 100 miler this year. I sort of felt I owed it to her. I thought about Sandy quite a bit during this year's race. She would have liked to hike the 10-mile McNaughton trail. No running for her...you need to slow down to appreciate the flora and fauna. That mud slowed me down pretty well, so I got a chance to see quite a few deer while walking slowly up the hills. Sandy loved the outdoors and the environment, so it's bittersweet that her death came on Earth Day. At least it's a way for me to remember her zest for life and love of animals and natural settings. She always thought my ultra running was crazy (especially the 100 milers), but she understood that her little brother liked to "hit the trails" and enjoyed being around like-minded individuals who loved nature. After a long and tough ultra, she'd be the first one I'd call to say "Hey, I finished it!" She'd congratulate me and then tell me to call mom to let her know I was OK. I miss those calls. My life, and the world in general, is worse off without her. She was a good person doing good things (as most social workers are). I hope Sandy is resting in peace and looking down on me with pride as I continue trying to promote running, environmental, and animal causes. We planted a redbud tree soon after her funeral. It's just now waking up from the long winter and budding...flowers should be here soon. My sister's life was cut short. She never had the chance to fully bloom and show all her talents and skills to the world. On Earth Day, I hope we can all pitch-in and make the world a better place. Plant a tree. Drive less. Walk more. Recycle those cans and bottles. Pick up liter during your daily run. Invite a friend to see your favorite trail. Do something. And don't forget to connect with your family and friends...you never know when they might be gone.

I miss you sis.

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