Monday, January 14, 2013

A mile for a moment...

It appears that the theme of my life right now is "moments" started with the design of our christmas card and since then I can't get it out of my head.  Maybe it is because I'm finally seeing that I need to live in the be present in every moment and not worry about what happened yesterday or will happen tomorrow, but truly be present and grateful for each moment that God gives me.  Easier said than done, right?!

This past weekend had a very special moment...crossing the finish line of the Houston Marathon...cold, wet and exhausted...seeing Will, Jeff, Tony and Mary all cheering me in and then as they placed the medal around my neck to see Jessica there waiting.   We had spent the first 21 miles side-by-side...chatting, laughing, crying and parts in silence.

The race started at 7:00am in pouring down rain, cold rain.  That's us in our trash bags...we ran in these till about mile 7.  It helped keep us dry and provide some warmth.

We had some visitors at mile 10...our husbands!  We stopped for a brief kiss and on we went.  We had been keeping a pretty good pace, chatting about all kind of things... and the course had thinned out a bit as the turn around for the half was around mile 8 so things were moving and grooving!  We looked for e-gel packets so we knew Jessica's dad, Tony had passed that way : ) 

When we hit 17 miles we saw Will & Jeff again...which was much needed because I think we were headed over to the dark side (meaning we weren't so peppy at this point).  We briefly least I think it was brief.  It was enough time to shed some tears and get a quick pep talk.  At this point...anyone who has run a marathon knows you can start counting down the miles in single digits.  And as we rounded a bend...I heard a lady shout, "only 9 more miles!"


I was hurting more than normal at this point and needed to focus; it hit me that each mile could be dedicated to how old Grant was.  I told Jessica that at every mile marker I wanted her to tell me what they did for Grant's birthday that year.  We had 9 miles to go so she told me about his 9th birthday....and then we hit 8th, 7th, 6th...and as we approached mile 21 there was a hill and I knew I was struggling. I could see the mile 21 marker so I said, "tell me now because I might need to walk the hill" and I also knew that meant we might separate.   It was a Ben 10 birthday!  As I started to walk all I could think was my 5 year old son LOVES Ben 10...and my heart hurt because it could just as easy be my son battling seizures.  Epilepsy, like cancer, doesn't discriminate and as the statistic states, "approximately 1 in 26 people in the US will develop epilepsy at some point in their lives."  That is simply too many!

At that point we were on our own...I plugged in my music to try to keep my feet moving to the beat. I took walk breaks but kept moving forward....wishing I had made Jessica tell me about the other 4 birthdays before we separated so I could remember them at each mile marker, so instead I tried to remember all the conversations that Jessica and I had about Grant in the past.  I wondered what Jessica was thinking about too.  Miles 24-26 are somewhat of a blur...the wind gusts were awful and there were these mini hills that just seemed huge at that point.  In retrospect I know they weren't but after 4+ hours they were mountains to me.  I remember seeing the final marker that said quarter mile to finish and I knew I was there.

In that moment when Jessica hugged me at the finish...she told me that in her final miles she had counted how many seizures Grant had since his he had been diagnosed with epilepsy on August 30...the total...49 seizures.

My goal for this race was support to my friend, raise funds for epilepsy and finish!  I accomplished each one of those and the moment when Jessica and I took this photo below holding our medals will remain etched in my memory...WE DID IT! And we did it for the best reason...not for ourselves but for a reason...for Grant and others with epilepsy!  We ran two marathons 34 days apart...and there isn't one single regret.  I would do it all over the exact same conditions! If you are a runner or thinking about becoming a runner...I strongly urge you to run a half or full marathon for a charity. There is no greater feeling of accomplishment knowing that in some small way you have helped others.

Grant's Gang is holding strong as the top fundraiser...and it is because of YOU...our fabulous friends and family!  Thank you for your support...the donations, emails, facebook posts and texts mean so much!

One more piece of news...CONGRATULATIONS to Jessica's Dad, Tony on hitting his GOAL!  What a race for that to happen!  He waited at the finish (in the stands) exactly one hour to see me cross after he had just ran 26.2 miles as well. And Jessica and her family...thank you for allowing us to be part of your family for such a memorable weekend!

A mile for a moment. Not another moment lost to seizures.

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  1. This is perfect. I could not have said it better. I will never forget this "momnet" in our lives. And I can never even begin to thank you for doing this with me and for Grant.


  2. Dianna as I said before you are an amazing person and I can never thank you enough for what you do!

  3. Tears reading this!! Love to you, Jessica, Grant, and your whole family who I have always loved!! Great accomplishments for all of you. God bless you and Dianna!

  4. Tears....youve touched my heart more than once Dianna with your compassion, your dedication to your beliefs, your family & firends and your charity. Thank you for all you do. Your posts, your encouragement, your gentle reminders of those that need help are positive influences for all of us to get up and make a difference. Love this post, thanks for sharing!!

    - Trish