For my Mom and Dad in heaven

One year from today, my 3 sisters and I are running the ING Miami Marathon.  We are 4 of 6 lucky souls that landed with Kathleen and Homer Handy.  Our time with them was shorter than most – they died 8 years apart each suddenly each too soon.  We miss them every day.  Living without them is difficult to say the least.  My youngest daughter asked me today if my Mom was real.  They never met, no wonder she wonders.  The parenting journey without parents is a  process, one step at a time.  Though I would like to, I could never capture their essence in words but I can take steps as they would want me to – with determination, faith, love of family and friends and mostly in gratitude.  So my 3 sisters and I are taking approximately 33,000 steps over 26.2 miles each to celebrate our health our bond and our beginning:   our parents.  Look out Miami, here we come. 

Here is a picture of 3 of 4 of us Handy girls.  We are with my Dad’s sister looking over photo albums.  She misses her brother as we miss our Dad. 

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Me, Grace, Heather and Aunt Geneva

We had a lot of fun walking down memory lane.

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One sister was in Southern California when this was taken – blazing trails and taking names.

There are a lot of families, God love them, who run together in fellowship and solidarity against life’s thrashings.  I love you all.  But for us what makes this unique is, we all used to dance growing up.  With the support of parents who believed in us, we all (there are 6 in all – my brothers are my rocks and my salvation) were encouraged to try hard, do our best and follow our heart.  There were buckets of pointe shoes and pink tights in our house.    With different styles (I was the jazz and tap dancer) and varying degrees of commitment and talent, we gravitated toward the same activity and had the same interests.  I find it delightfully symbiotic.  And now we hang up the Capezios and bring out the Nikes.  Bring it.

Individually we have a number of races under our belts.  A few marathons, a number of half marathons and a bunch of 10ks collected like pink tights and black leotards of years gone by.  This is special.  I am so excited I can hardly contain myself.  Just wanted to share.

And this too:  Sixteen years ago today my husband asked me to marry him at my Mother’s two-week old graveside.  On January 12, 1997 my life felt like it had ended.  Two weeks later it began again. 

Thank you God for my life, my parents, my husband, my sisters and brothers and my friends. 

Thank you for my  health and these working legs.  Mom and Dad, I have 33,000 steps to take on them just for you in Miami on February 2, 2014.  Steps closer to heaven.  I love you.

7 thoughts on “For my Mom and Dad in heaven

  1. Clair what a beautiful tribute to your parents–made even moreso because you will be sharing the experience with your sisters. I’m so sorry you lost your parents so young–undoubtedly they would have been immensely proud of the mom, wife and woman you have become!

  2. Clair – I haven’t met you in person….but it would be nice to do that. My parents passed away 10 years ago….5 1/2 months apart. They were not really ill, but getting old. My dad was 91 and so totally with it. Mom was 81….I miss them both so much even after all this time. They were my rock. But, I know they are watching over me from Heaven and I plan to meet them there one day. I can relate to so much of what you have written in these words. Blessings to all of you.

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