I am writing today, not because I have anything particularly exciting to share; let's be honest, that's a rarity in my case. I have been doing well lately, keeping busy, trying to balance work and fun. And, of course, running. I've been doing a lot of running lately. It helps keep me energized, focused, sane (or as sane as I'll most likely ever get, but some insanity is always necessary, no?) And now that it's September, my runs have taken on a more special purpose. With only 3.5 weeks until what I have officially titled, the 3rd Annual Christi Thomas Run, Christi has been on my mind more than ever. I actually have a picture of her at work because looking a it makes me happy, and I like being happy. I've included it here for you because I believe in sharing Happy. It's one of my very favorite Christi pictures, though as Jennifer can attest, the "Favorite Christi Picture" category is extensive. I love this picture for three main reasons. One-- Christi looks so very happy. And, seeing her happy and feeling how happy she must have felt when that picture was snapped gives me that warm and fuzzy feeling. It makes me heart feel her joy. And her spirit. Two-- I love the fall and this is a fall-looking picture. Three-- The ponies. I mean, seriously, who doesn't love ponies?!? And look at how many there are. So, my first challenge in this email, is to look at the picture, sense Christi's joy, feel the autumn, see the ponies and I guarantee that however your day was up until this point, it's a million times better now. Christi had a way of bringing sunshine into everything-- from lemonade stands, to schoolwork, to chemo. Life gave her some pretty rotten lemons and she made the sweetest lemonade.
Christi is especially on my mind when I run. When the alarm goes off at 4:40am, I think of her and I remember her words (""Determination is what keeps you going. It's like a best friend." Said by Christi, age 7). And I find whatever determination I can muster at 4:40am and get my morning run going. She's the best friend running beside me when I want to stop and the one helping me up when I trip over myself and fall. I'm in good company at 4:40am. So my second challenge in this email, if you can, is to ask you for a donation (of any amount) to my cause (http://active.com/donate/
And my third (and last) challenge, as I sign off tonight, is to remember to tell those you care about that you love them. It may be hard, but from experience, it's harder living wishing you could have told them just once or even just once more. Christi loved with her whole heart. She lived with her whole soul. And because of that, she changed a part of the world. I'm convinced that if we all learned from her love and her living, this world would be a much better place.
I know this post may be a bit too personal for some (and some of you may be thinking that all I ever do is make you cry), but know that I am this honest because I honestly believe in what I write. And because I love Christi. And you.