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Monday, November 1, 2010

This one's for my dad.

It's been a heavy week for me blog followers.  Some of you already know that my dad passed away on Tuesday.  Now you all know.  Even the parents of local superheros aren't immortal I guess.  He was my biggest cheerleader, and I will miss him dearly. 

I'm not one to wallow in self pity.  My grieving process has been less about guilt and mourning, and more about reflecting on my dad's contributions to my life, as well as thinking about how to honor his memory.  He would have wanted me to keep on keeping on...so I am.  And when I think about how my dad has influenced my past, and will influence my future, I immediately think about running.

My dad always supported me, regardless of the ridiculousness of my endeavor.  When I started playing soccer, he used to go out to the field and kick the ball around with me.  When I decided to play with the school band, he bought me private lessons.  When I grew my hair out to be more "metal", he shrugged and said something like, "Well...Hanson is a popular band nowadays." 

He didn't really understand what would possess me to run long distances.  He was pretty amazed when I ran my first 5K.  He was baffled when I ran a 10K.  He was dumb founded when I ran a half marathon.  And I'm sure he signed up for some sort of support group when I ran my first marathon.  But he would always tell me he was proud of me.  Confused...but proud.

I wouldn't say that my favorite memories of my dad revolve around running, because they don't.  Running wasn't something that we had in common.  My dad didn't run ever...even when chased (really...he'd rather be caught).  I think he felt like it wasn't something he was physically able to do.  We couldn't talk running like we could talk all the other things we had in common: soccer, music, football, bad haircuts, an appreciation for really bad beer.  Running was something that I did, and that he watched with amazement (and sometimes amusement). 

While we were planning the service to honor my dad, one of the things my mom asked the funeral director was that any memorials go to my fundraising efforts with Team in Training.  I am trying to raise $4,900 in order to compete in the Honolulu Marathon in December (link on the side of my blog...donate...DO IIIIIIIIIT!). 

At first I didn't get it.  Memorials should go towards funeral expenses.  And my dad wasn't really involved in my fundraising.  He didn't die of any type of cancer.  The two didn't seem very related. 

Then I remembered back to when I first heard that my dad had died.  I was at work and I hurried home, going 90 mph on the freeway.  I met my wife in my parent's driveway and cried my eyes out.  I wandered around my parent's house looking for comfort.  I sat in my dad's room and looked at pictures of him.  My mind was a blur.  I was thinking everything and nothing at the same time. 

So I went for a run.  It was a crappy run.  It was 30 degrees outside with blowing horizontal rain.  I could barely see, much less move forward.  I only went out for 3 miles because I was losing feeling in my toes.  When I came back in I was soaking wet and smiling from ear to ear.  What happened on that run is between me and my dad, but let's just say we worked everything out.  Things made sense.

I came into the kitchen grinning from ear to ear.  It was the first time I had felt happy all day.  I told my mom that I was running the Honolulu Marathon in my dad's memory.  He wasn't a runner, he didn't love running like I did, but he loved me.  And he was one hundred percent behind everything I wanted to do in life.  He made me the person I am today.  And since this was probably the biggest thing I'd ever tried to do in my running career, why not honor the guy who gave me the encouragement to be that person.

I'm telling my dad what I probably didn't tell him enough when he was alive.  You inspired me and you gave me the inner strength to pursue my passions.  You will continue to watch over me and guide me. 

Folks...don't let it take the death of a loved one to tell them how much they mean to you.  Tell them today.  Dedicate your efforts in life to them.  I think my dad can see what I'm doing for him, but it would be more comfort to me if I knew that HE KNEW.  If you wait...you'll spend your entire life wondering if they knew what was in your heart.  Do it today...
My dad, Laurence K. Peterson, August 12, 1948 to October 26, 2010.  Rest in peace dad.  I love you.


  1. I'm so sorry to hear about your dad. It sounds like you are really honoring his memory!

    1. tượng, người xem vong hồn đều mạo, một miệng lương khí tốc hành toàn thân! .

      Toàn bộ thật lớn tảng đá sân rộng, đều là tại đây loại đáng sợ dị tượng hạ trở nên an tĩnh lại, tại đây đẳng dị tượng hạ, coi như là sáu Tinh Đấu đế cường giả, đều là tự đáy lòng cảm thấy tim đập nhanh, bọn họ thật sự là có chút vô pháp tưởng tượng, Tiêu Viêm dĩ nhiên có thể bằng vào phía năm Tinh Đấu đế tu vi, phát huy ra loại này ngay cả sáu Tinh Đấu đế trung kỳ cường giả đều không thể đạt được lực lượng.

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      trung tâm ngoại ngữày một chưởng, đánh ra tốc độ cực kỳ thong thả, nhưng mỗi nương theo phía kỳ bàn tay di ra một điểm, này trong thiên địa năng lượng, đó là càng tỏ ra cuồng bạo.

      Đương nhiên, nương theo phía kia một chưởng ba động càng tỏ ra kinh khủng, Tiêu Viêm khuôn mặt lên kia một tia tái nhợt cũng là tại tăng lên, nhìn ra được đến, này nhất chiêu, lấy hắn hiện tại thực lực, thi triển đứng lên chính thập phần miễn cưỡng.

  2. Christian, I'm sorry to hear about your dad. It sounds like he was an awesome dad. You had a great teacher and I'm guessing you are trying to be that same kind of dad to your kids. We've got you in our prayers. Take care!

  3. Ok, that was a tear jerker. You got me!

    I find running to be quite personal myself. It's 'my' time, and it can really put things in my life into focus.

    Being a parent is one of life's greatest gifts. My father wasn't around when I was growing up. But now being a parent myself, I could never NOT be around.

    Sorry for your loss, and thank you for sharing.

  4. I'm sorry to hear about your dad. Losing a parent is hard.

  5. That's a nice tribute to your dad. And inspiring for those of us who read it...

  6. Christian - beautifully written. Sounds like your dad was a great guy. That's incredible you were able to find inspiration during your run in the midst of your grief. Those feelings must have been so raw at that point. That must have been an amazing moment. Thanks so much for sharing your experience and I sincerely hope you are able to race in the marathon Honolulu. Lean on your family and friends now, give your wife and kids some extra hugs and take care, man.

  7. I appreciate all of your comments folks. I'm taking it one day at a time and doing pretty okay.

  8. A beautiful post. Just reminded me of my Mom , who died suddenly earlier this year. You are right, Never Ever leave it to the last moment to tell someone you love them, because you never know what will happen.

    I also found I had the biggest connection to my Mom when I ran too. I ran a half marathon about a month after she died and I think it was the most uplifting experience I had for a long while.

    My thoughts are with you.

  9. Your dad's face reflects all you wrote about him.
    I am sorry for your loss. I wish I could tell you that it will be easier to deal with his passing but sometimes it does not work out this way. My dad passed away 4 years ago and I still miss him terribly. The shock of his death is gone but the emptiness he left behind is still there.



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