Sunday, September 26, 2010

A fall in the woods (from Jan. 26, 2010)

I was coming to the end of a long run. A quick loss of concentration and I hit the deck like a sack of potatoes. I was in the woods off West Yarmouth Road in Yarmouthport, Massachusetts. I may have been only a mile from my borrowed car, a half mile from the main road but I was a million miles away from my life.

A quick assessment told me I wasn’t hurt. I rolled over onto my back and started laughing. I was a little annoyed at first that I had fallen but then I was happy to be there and now truly living in the moment.

I’m in my home town visiting my ailing father. He’s dying from cancer.

In an instant I had gone from simply running to run to lying on the ground staring up at the trees LIVING IN THE MOMENT.

I took my time getting up. I noticed the deep blue sky. I noticed the upper branches of the trees swaying in the breeze. I could feel the biting 25 degree cold but I didn’t mind it. I noticed it and it made me feel good.

After a minute or two I popped up and finished my run with 5 minutes on hard running on the blacktop after running in the woods for an hour.

Seeing my strong and proud father stricken and dying from a dreaded disease is absolutely horrible. It’s so very sad. Having just amazing runs in the mornings made me feel a little weird. I felt a bit selfish. I’m 1200 miles from my wife and son and here I am out running instead of being with my father. It made me think a little.

I actually thought about it as I lay on the ground.

My dad wants me to be out running. He wants me to live. We have visited plenty and will more in the next few days. Today I spend my afternoon replacing windows and now I’m watching him sleep peacefully. Sadly his body is ravaged by the cancer but he is still my dad and that’s how I see him.

I try to learn from everything. I like to use little moments in my life to enrich me and those around me. From this experience I am going to take the positive because that is how I roll.

My dad is a great man and an amazing role model as a father and as a person. He has always worked hard and been committed to his 4 children. I am going to continue to try to be like my dad. It’s the least I can do.

At the end of this beautiful winter’s day on Cape Cod I am going to reaffirm to myself something very important. I am going to reaffirm that I will live life to the fullest and find joy and enrichment is every day and every experience. These experiences include hitting the cold hard ground like a sack of potatoes. Life is short. When we are living out our last days like my dad is what are we going to say about our lives? I want to spend the rest of my years on this wonderful earth living in the moment, appreciating my surroundings and living the best possible life that I can.

I’ll do this for my dad. I owe him that much.


  1. I felt this way after my father passed away. I looked at his life and saw there were many areas in which he could have "lived". He was very shy and rather stubborn.. and I honestly feel that got in his way of really living and enjoying his life. When he passed that is what I focused on, just living my life to the fullest. Not letting shyness, or 'what ifs' stand in the way of my goals and dreams. Such a great post and blog. : )

  2. so happy to see that Super single mom found you..I sent her your way! SHE has a great blog too!!!
    I have no words as I cannot imagine loosing my dad! It just hurts that you are facing it, no matter how strong you are about it!

  3. Whats with all these single moms. lol. The more the merrier. Thanks for the comments! The journey for my dad has been a rough one. Ironically I hope the end comes soon. A life from morphine shot to morphine shot is not way to live. My dad is a great man and a tribute to him will come soon. It's sad that he is so far away. He's always in my heart though!!