Saturday, October 12, 2013

Dr. Reed's Run 2013

Today was the fourth annual Dr. Reed's Run. Exhausted, I'm not yet ready to describe what it's like to talk about my dad, unable to talk to him. Here are the words I spoke this morning.

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Stories are sacred. They are scraps of fabric that, when woven together, construct our shared history. The act of offering up a “remember when?” renders one vulnerable – for what was once a moment to someone can transform into a story for someone else, carved from the continous stream of our pasts and held dear to our hearts. Our personal stories – unlike those we find upon the shelves at Barnes and Noble or on the big screen – are less about plot and more about character. It’s easier to remember that one time we hiked in Yosemite than it is to remember the wonderment on my father’s face. But the more powerful stories translate the intentions of the heart into the language of memory.

But I cannot ask my father his thoughts on God after sleeping on the stars in California – whether he felt peace or contentment; was he overwhelmed by the vastness or comforted by the intimacy of the moment, just him among the sleeping sequoias? I cannot ask him. A brain aneurysm took my father’s life and we live everyday without him in our present. But in its own way, the brain aneurysm took away our past, as well. Details that may not have felt significant at the time are now pivotal and we are no longer privy to my father’s side of the story. He cannot fill in the details for us.

And so we gather together, here, and share our stories of David, refusing to allow the etchings of memories to fade. Remember when dad befriend a homeless man in Fort Lauderdale on our family vacation? The specifics of that trip have been forgotten, other than the fact that Abby and I sang TLC’s “I dont want no scrub” out the windows of our rented car ad nauseum. But I do remember feeling so proud of my father, knowing that he was eating lunch with that man on the boardwalk, instead of on the beach with us.

Dr. Reed’s Run is also a celebration of your stories. For some of you, moments shared with David are well-worn on your heart, etched from tellings and re-tellings. We honor you this morning. For others, you have your own stories of struggle, survival, and grief. We honor your stories this morning, too. 


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