Sunday, September 30, 2007

Roadrunner: Akron Marathon and Team Relays
Well, between the 5 of us, we were able to knock out 26 miles in about 4 1/2 problem at all. We had an absolutely picture perfect day- weather wise- and the marathon had a record number of participants, 7,000!
My leg started up by Fairlawn country club, and after meandering back towards Firestone High School and Stan Hywet, I began the last long stretch of Market Street from Highland Square back downtown to Canal Park. I also think that the number of folks who came out to cheer on the runners may have been a record too. This one house (mansion, actually) on Portage Path had rented 3 of those huge inflatables for the kids to play on while what looked to be around 5-6 different couples stood curbside and cheered on the runners with a ton of different signs, sound system, and free water bottles. All in all, I probably passed 2-3 different garage bands, a couple of DJ set-ups, two marching bands, and numerous "yard" parties for the 7 1/2 mile trek.
My Olympian caliber team-mates- Jeff, Mary Lou, Glen, and Maureen were awesome, and we all had a great time at the team dinner later last night. Can't wait till next year! Thanks again, gang, for running with me!
Nothing has been decided yet, but I'm trying to convince Jeff to split the Cleveland marathon in April with me. I'm pretty confident that we can do it, it's just those cold, winter evening runs in January that aren't overly appealing...we'll see.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Alyssa's Hike for the Hearts

All I could think of this Saturday morning was that I was able to hold tight to my son's hand while we made the two mile trek for Alyssa's Hike, and the Calloway family would have to wait a lifetime to touch the hand of their little girl. As we passed the various hike markers along the path, I talked to Josh about little Alyssa, and the terrible disease that attacked her heart and as a result shortened her life. All Josh could say in response was, "that's not fair!" And you know what, it isn't. Parents shouldn't have to bury their children, and I fear that something like this would simply break my faith...I can't imagine a day that would go by without me being able to laugh and play with my kids. They are my life, and I love them with all my heart.

Myocarditis, inflammation of the heart, is usually caused by a viral infection. Diagnosis and treatment of mycocarditis has been slow to develop. Alyssa Ann Calaway was a victim of this terrible disease, and this hike is an attempt to raise awareness and money to hopefully find a cure. Josh and I thank all of you who so generously donated to this cause.

"It's September again- it marks the 5th anniversary of Alyssa's death. I don't get to go school shopping with Lys, or talk about what it means to be a Jr. Higher, or ever sit up with her the night before with nervous jitters- she's not here...I'm homesick for my girl. I long to hold her close, smell her hair, hear her laugh, or see her dance. I can't wait until That day- when our family is complete again and she meets her little sister for the first time and reunites with her brother. Her Daddy and I can finally cradle her in our arms again."

-Sarah Calaway (Alyssa's mom)

Saturday, September 22, 2007

18 months old already...

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Mum Day 2007

Evidently, some of our kids taped and then posted this on You Tube a few days after our annual Mum Day- Hoban's long standing tradition of spending the entire day in silence until the big pep rally at the end of the school day...all in an effort to build school spirit and defeat our cross-town rival St. Vincent St. Mary in the big football game held at the Rubber Bowl! This year, over 10,000 people attended the game!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Dave and Busters

Marie and I headed up to Westlake on Saturday afternoon to check out the somewhat new Dave and Busters. I think we were both a bit overwhelmed at the size of the place, and I would guess that a minimum of 100 different arcade style games covered the main lobby and eatery. For $25.00 a person, you get a great meal of ribs/ chicken and then 40 game tokens, which depending on how you use them (be it the skill games or the “torch the zombies face with a bazooka before they eat you” type games), can last anywhere from 1-2 hours. It’s pretty much a high school/ cool dad hangout version of Chuck E. Cheese- without all the screaming children chucking pizza through the air and chasing after the poor dude in the mouse outfit! We’ll definitely make another trek there sometime later this fall.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

In remembrance...

God bless all those who perished in this unspeakable tragedy...and let's all pray today that we- and certainly our children- never have to witness another senseless, catastrophic event like this again in our lives.

Monday, September 03, 2007

Run with endurance the race set before you (Hebrew 12:1)

Well, the little guy crossed the finish line like a true champion this morning. He has been so excited the past couple of weeks to run the first mile of the Labor of Love Race with me this morning. After about 1/2 mile or so, he told me that his legs were beginning to hurt a little. So, I thought I'd try to strike up a conversation with him to keep his mind off his cramps. I talked to him about school, his sisters, his neighborhood friends until he finally looked up - still running in stride mind you- and told me that I was making it difficult on him to concentrate by talking too much. EXCUUUUSE ME!

With about 2 tenths of a mile left, I pointed out the finish line to him. A huge grin came across his face as he then knew that he was going to be able to finish without having to stop at all for a break. Before I knew it, the little dude took off and sprinted towards the finish line. I'm thinking to myself, "Hey, I got 5 more miles to run here buddy...this isn't the time to run a 200 yard sprint!" Sure enough, he crossed over the line first, and then looked back at me to ask if "I was going to make it..." What a pal.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Little Bit of Heaven

We all gathered at Terri and Dan's home today to celebrate Aunt Anne's birthday. Here's a gal who truly has led a remarkable life. Born and raised in Michigan, she headed west to Los Angeles to pursue a career in business. I have so many fond memories of visiting Annie out in the San Fernando valley area...and playing lots of golf with her. My favorite memory of course was when I almost capsized the golf cart with poor Marlyn (Annie's dear friend) hanging on for dear life in the passenger seat...all the while trying to stay alert for the snakes that were supposedly inhabitants of this desert course.

As a graduation gift, Annie flew me out to CA and the two of us drove north to Carmel and truly had a vacation of a lifetime, which culminated with Annie getting her infamous hole-in-one at a beautiful course right on the coast of the Pacific. I was there to witness it...remarkable! We also both had a good chuckle as we lunched at Pebble Beach and watched a number of hackers go at it on the 18th green. The lesson here was that you don't need to be good to play golf at Pebble...just rich!

As retirement approached, Annie and her dear friend Louise relocated to the hustling and vibrant city life of Calhoun, Louisiana. I made the trek down there probably 3-4 different times...just a tad different culture than the LA lifestyle. From the palm trees of LA to the swamps of Louisiana, I think Annie would agree that she was able to truly enjoy her early retirement there. In hindsight, God definitely had a plan when he made sure that Annie was there for Louise, who courageously fought a long illness and finally went home to God. Friends to the very end, these two....a genuine example of Christian friendship that most people can only dream about replicating in their lives.

Then, about 7 years ago, Annie came home to live with my folks. Words can't express how wonderful it will be that Annie can now be a part of my kid's lives. I want her to see Marie as she goes off to her first formal dance (I'll be a nervous wreck, but at least she can enjoy it!); Josh as he plays soccer and climbs to the level of black belt in karate...and Ms. Sarah Kay as she becomes a little lady. All the money in the world can't replace the memories you make with's pretty much the only thing that you can take with you when our time is over here.

Still a fan of golf, Annie has embraced Lebron and Co. and was crushed-as I was- when they bowed out of the NBA championships last year. Hopefully if she wears her "Shoot Boobie Shoot" shirt enough this fall, the Wine and Gold will make a repeat run to the Finals...and win it! Which, in Annie's words, would be just a "little bit of heaven".