Two years ago I ran almost every step of the Boston marathon with a complete stranger, Bernard Castro. By the end of our 26.2 miles we were no longer strangers but had become good friends who had seen each otherthrough the world's greatest marathon in almost 90 degree weather.
Last year I returned to Boston but was unable to finish because of the horrific bombings. Bernard followed my progress on Facebook from Texas.
Last fall, I eagerly registered for the 2014 Boston Marathon and looked forward to finishing what I started last year and being part of the remembrance that would take place.
Then I started training... hard. During this training I started paying closer attention to chest pain and other heart symptoms that I had been experiencing for some time. This led me to seek medical help and within a couple of months I was diagnosed with an anomalous RCA, a condition known for killing athletes.
Last Monday, 364 days after I only made it 25.5 miles in the 2013 Boston Marathon, I underwent open heart surgery to repair my congenital defect.
That brings us to today. Today was the 2014 Boston Marathon. I was registered for that prestigious race. I had a race packet, race number and race shirt waiting for me. Instead if crossing that famous finish line, I'm learning to take short walks and do breathing exercises. I am thankful to The Lord for where I am and how far I've come but all day my heart has been in Boston.
During the same time that the marathon was being run, a packaged arrived for me that contained a brand new pair of running shoes in my size. They were from Bernard. He knew what I would be facing emotionally today.
For the first time since all of my health issues unfolded, I cried. Those shoes are a symbol to me that I will be back. Back to Boston? Maybe. Back to running? Definitely.
Thank you Bernard (and family) for sending hope in a New Balance box. And as the Bible says, hope does not disappoint.