I love my legs. Not in a prideful way, though. I am, after all, very aware of their limitations. They’re several inches shorter than they should be and chalky white. My right IT band pings with pain when I even think the word “it” and my left hip flexor reminds me constantly that it is 51 years old and not getting any younger.

So, why do I love them? They’re strong and solid. They can hurt and complain, but they get me where I’m going. They provide a solid base for my building blocks of running, always willing to move me forward, and often willing to do it with flair. The rest of me may not cooperate, but my legs are always on board for a run, they’re just waiting for the word. A strong foundation on which to build a running plan for life.

My childhood was like that. I’m sure it wasn’t the storybook youth that I remember, it had its times of trouble, pain, and sorrow, but it was a strong, solid foundation on which to build a life. At the head of that foundation was my Daddy. He was a well of strength that we drew from to grow. He taught us so many things, loved us well, provided for us the best he could, and most of all, laid the foundation for the faith that was to become the center point of my life. We laid him to rest this week, but it wasn’t a week filled with sorrow, it was one of celebration. It was physically, emotionally, and spiritually draining, but I wouldn’t change a single moment of it.

Some of the week’s highlights for me included: being able to be with my dad in the last moments of his life; watching my daughter and nieces say good-bye to their much loved grandfather; having my entire family on this hill at the same time; visiting with family and friends not seen in far too long; comfort food provided by the loving hands of precious friends; my brother-in-law and nephew’s rendition of “How Great Thou Art” at the funeral; my brother-in-law’s perfect eulogy; the bagpipes played at graveside thanks to my sister Mel’s memory that Dad wanted those;  seeing all my sister’s grandchildren together for the first time in their young lives & the photo session that necessitated; the long, easy bike ride my man and I took with our girls on Wednesday; meals shared with family all under the same roof at once; laughing over memories with family and friends; and seeing my man in a suit.

My Dad was a powerhouse of strength for all the years he needed to be.  I put together this slideshow for the funeral celebration, and some of our family and friends were unable to make the trip, so I thought I would share it here, as well.  The music was an odd selection for me, but my dad sang “The Old Rugged Cross” and  “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot” to me as lullabies when I was little, then to his beloved grandchildren when they were, so the choice was made for me.

Copy of Dad Slideshow.

If your parents are still with you, love them, reach out to them, draw strength from them. Life is short on this side of heaven, don’t waste a single moment.

One thought on “Strength

  1. Janet. says:

    Janie, I loved the slide show at your daddy’s funeral. It was nice to get a glimpse of all the memories your children share of your parents. I didn’t get the chance to tell you that day how proud his was of your running. Anytime you had a race he would tell us all about it and with such pride. I’m sure you know this but just wanted to let you know anyway.

    Janet Payne

    Sent from my iPad


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