Thursday, February 09, 2012

I'll Be Running for Sherry

When I first heard about Sherry Arnold, my stomach dropped.

A runner...mother...daughter...wife...and a teacher.  Went out for her early-morning run, probably so that she would get her miles in and have a nice relaxing Saturday with her family.  

Which is pretty much what I do every Saturday morning.

And one mile into her run, her life was violently, tragically, cut short.

This story has left me, as I'm sure it left many of you, with a wave of emotions.  Sadness that brings tears to my eyes and takes my breath away and makes me stop and hold onto the side of the kitchen counter for a minute or two.  Anger that this could happen to someone that seemed so giving, caring, and full of life.  An empty feeling for her daughter and son and husband and grief at the hole that is in their hearts now, that will be forever.

I didn't know Sherry.  But I feel like I run by her every Saturday morning, giving a quick breathless "hi" and a smile as we pass on the sidewalk and chase our own weekly finish lines.

I experienced a sudden, violent, tragic loss to our community in October, 1989, when my classmate's little sister was kidnapped from the Baskin Robbin's right across the street from our police station in our tiny, extremely safe town.  He told Amy that he was going to take her shopping.  For a present for her mom's promotion.  She even called her mother a few minutes after she got in his car to tell her she was home and safe and sound.

Amy's body was found in February--by a runner, early in the morning.  Her killer was never found.  And I saw what that did to a brother.  A family.  A community.  I didn't know Amy, either.  I probably walked by her in the hallway a million times.  Maybe we even stood next to each other in the lunchroom.  

Even to this day, I think about Amy and how she'd be 33 now.  I think of the amazing, wonderful things I've been blessed to do and get to do every day, the career I enjoy, the husband I love, and the children that make my world, and how Amy wasn't allowed to have any of these things.  I try to honor her memory by living as fully as I can.

I do believe that Amy and Sherry are together now, in a place much better than this one I'm in.  And it's a reminder that we all live parallel lives.  We're all passing each other in the hallway every day.  We're all getting our run in early as the sun rises so we can feel our heart beat faster and breathe the morning air and come home--home--to love and breakfast and the rest of our Saturdays.  Our lives.   

So I'll be running for Sherry Saturday.  I hope you join me.


Carolina John said...

That is a couple of tragic tales. No good at all.

Marv said...

This is really one of your very bests. Thank you for sharing. Indeed, we are all living parellel lives: running the same course. When something happens to one of us, it seems there is nothing we can do. But we can care. Care, even for those we didn't know. And we can run the race we have, for them, for us.