There were balloons in our Sunday School class on Sunday. Balloons aren’t really my favorite thing (the noise they make when the pop scares me), but one of the guys thought it would be really fun to bust one open for the helium. Announcements definitely would have been interesting. My first reaction was my Uncle use to do that all the time. I remember my Grandmother’s birthday the summer after my 7th grade year. We always went to the same Chinese restaurant across from some of the UVA fields in Charlottesville. My Uncle Clyde’s wife Leysia had walked over to talk to my sister and I, noticing how beautiful my smile was now I that I no longer had braces. She turned her back, and my uncle got his hands on the balloons. I never knew my Uncle really well, so I was surprised when he started opening balloons and talking after a mouthful of helium. It was hysterical. The more I’ve heard about my Uncle, the more I’ve come to discover that this was just his way. Fun loving, a little bit crazy, and enjoying life. I really admire that. I loved hearing stories of the crazy things he did at his memorial service. I learned a lot about him that I never knew.
This weekend would have my Uncle Clyde’s birthday. It seems fitting that I’m running a half marathon this weekend. I run a lot of races in memory of my Uncle. It just seemed like the right thing to do after he lost his very brief battle with cancer. This weekend also marks another anniversary. A year ago I was on the way to the same race (ING Georgia 1/2 marathon) when I learned that a friend unexpectedly passed away the day before. She loved to run even if she didn’t run as much as she wanted too. I often find myself wanting to tell her something I think will make her laugh, or wanting to send her a note to see how she’s doing only to remember that she isn’t here anymore. I can’t bring myself to take her out of my address book. She reminds me of my Uncle Clyde. Always smiling, bubbly, and full of life. So on Sunday I’m running the ING Georgia half marathon (I so wish I had time to run the full) in memory of Clyde and Jen. I hope it will be a day full of fun and laughter. I think they would have enjoyed that.