* Ben plotting endlessly how to get around thousands of people and arriving at our destination "in time."
* Lennix always smiling. Always always always. Holding on to her stroller for dear life as we pushed her through the streets of Chicago up and down subway stairs- still with her bow perfectly in place
* New running shoes for Suey purchased at the Expo. I haven't had a new pair of running/walking shoes in over 10 years!! Costo Court Classics last forever right?
* Mile 9- got Suzy's call saying Sharalyn and her seperated. Shar had no fuel, no phone. She was on her own.
* Mile 13- Finding Sharalyn amidst thousand of spectators. Fueling her body she was ready to run this marathon alone. Still had no phone. Still no way to make contact.
* Mile 13- (10 minutes later)- Got the phone call from Shannon. "Mom, where are you? I can't do this anymore. I need water and a banana- my legs are cramping so bad. You said you would be there? I can't find you." How did she slip by?
* Mile 17- Steve didn't think we could make it to mile 17 in time but WE HAD TO! We did it. And with time to spare.
*Miles 17- Found Sharalyn in a crowd (a miracle in itself) of thousands. A lone but pressing forward and happy and looking strong!
* Mile 17 (2 minutes after Sharalyn) Jared and Shannon find us in the crowd. All 3 of my kids deciding to run this race together. At last. A coincidence? An answered prayer? I know. All 3 determined to finished, revitalized, words of encouragment flowing everywhere.
* Mile 22- Getting the phone call saying the race had been stopped. They were told to stop and go back to the finish. They were waiting in a long line for a bus to take them to the finish line. Walking with thousands of runners on every street. Getting on the bus.
* Accidentally?? Metting up with the kids on Michigan Street outside of the Subway sidewalks filled with families, friends- each sharing their own stories.
*Sharalyn puts her medal around my neck saying: "This is all I have, but I want you to have it. I coudn't have done it without you Mom. WE FINISHED THE RACE. The last 4 miles were walking but the best 4 miles I've ever run."
*Jared-he's the tread beneath Shannons running shoes. :P
*Shannon had finally accomplished her goal! Never waivering towards her final destination.
*And last but not least- walking down Michigan Avenue the 3 of us. Shannon, Sharalyn and Suey. Walking with our arms around eachother- priceless. Shannon, Jared, and Sharalyn were REAL winners that day. But they were already winners long before that day ever happened. YOU ARE ALL AMAZING AND INSPIRING. Thanks for the ride. Joyous.
PS- Anyone in the mood for a Peep? Because I could sure use one right about now....