I know we never met, my name is Ed Deiss. I live right down the road in Hanover, right outside Richmond, Virginia. My oldest child attends (my younger two will when they get there) and will graduate from the same high school you attended. I wanted to take the time to write before I do something this weekend that I have never done, or even gave a passing thought to doing before last January. I’m running a half marathon; running 13.1 miles was probably a warm up run for you. Your friend Brooke Roney started a group that I joined to run that first Saturday afterwards. What a group it has become, Meg. A truly inspiring and compassionate community that has come together from all reaches of the globe bonded by the love of running and how it is a reflection of life’s journeys. I spoke to people who knew you that cold January day we ran; there was not a dry eye in sight. As the months have passed, we have continued to be lifted on your wings.
As someone raised by a single parent, my dad, I think about Scott and your kids. Looking back on that time with my dad growing up in Asia, and as a single parent now, there were times as we made our way down the proverbial road of life, and felt uncertain about the direction we were going. Strong convictions do not mean doubts don’t creep in. I had a picture of my mom and brother in my room as a kid a world away, looked at it everyday knowing we were connected even though apart. Though circumstances are completely different, want to reassure you as I look through my eyes as a kid, hope you will always know Gabriel, Whitfield, and Skye will always be connected to you. As tenacious as you were in your running, love for your family and friends, their love for you will overcome any fears they are experiencing now.
Training, running hills, and running at Hickory Hill. After having trained for the Richmond Half Marathon and run hills, and run at Hickory Hill, have learned the sport you loved is symbolic of what we can go through in life. Each passing Saturday, ran longer and longer distances with the support, encouragement of my running mates and #megsmiles. Running hills every week, what a struggle that was. After one of those hill runs, thought would share a #megsmiles post on what I was reflecting on and learning through it all:
There is a hill I would like to run one day, however if I get there may want to slow down and take it in. At the end of the hills we run, there is turning point. Even after running downhill can’t help but think about the uphill battle on the way after making the turn. Running can be symbolic of what we go through in life. Turning points result in changes, and can come through struggles; the fuel for strength. In coming to terms with those turning points I have learned it is essential to decide what to keep and what to let go. Keep up the struggle and press on, fighting against what I have known up to this point and let go of what I thought my limits were. Certainly there is fear in letting go, and though sometimes holding on makes us strong, sometimes it is letting go and trusting what is ahead. Don’t lose sight of who you are, and have the belief, which will turn into faith to embark on those changes in life (or your next hill) after that turning point. It can scare and fill a heart with wonder at the same time, while your heart goes ‘boom boom boom’ of what lies ahead. What lies ahead on Saturday is 12 miles to get #richmondready for the #RVAhalfmarathon. Today it was hills before daylight full of turning points for total of 6 miles, yesterday some speed for 4 miles. That hill I want to get to, Solsbury Hill. Actually I have found it, when I run #megsmiles. Also found on my play list!
Have run at Hickory Hill three times, the streets with your name. Ran on your Mom’s birthday, the day Scott ran the Boston Marathon, and your birthday. All runs with my heart, much more than my legs. When Scott was running through your eyes in Boston, I was coming to terms as one dad to another and had to stop a mile into my run that day. The last run there, your birthday on August 1, as I approached the intersection of Patrick Henry and Hickory Hill, I saw a couple of people tending to your marker. As I approached, was asked “Are you Ed?” Yes I am I replied…it was your Mom and Dad. We immediately knew who each other were and hugged. I will be looking for your Mom at the finish line!
Meg, I certainly agree with Keith Cartwright that we were all introduced in a way I would not have wanted given the choice. That said, you have brought together so many lives and changed them, more than you will ever know. You have encouraged me to live life to the fullest, have no regrets, honor myself, and invest in the lives of others. You have encouraged me in my faith, and the faith to carry on. After taking my three kids to Asia this summer to see where their Dad grew up and calls home, I wanted them to see what was in my heart, and to understand that across cultures, backgrounds, and nationalities…relationships are to be treasured and an appetite to be adventurous, take risks, and explore is one worth satisfying. That includes running; was even able to get in some Asia #megsmiles!
What I have also learned from you is that lives can impact others, even those we have not met.
Whoever thought Meg, that the NYC Marathon would be a warmup for Richmond? With NASCAR and VCU basketball, we do get some sports fans. This weekend, the marathon is in your hometown and what an event it is expected to be, all being brought together by you. We are running with you on our hearts and minds. I have the map printed out, and seeing is this is my first race, learning to trust the training. Just found out what taper means about a week ago.
As we run through the streets of your hometown here in Richmond, know you are running where the streets have no name. There will be a day Meg, when I will be making that run as well…save some room. Look forward to it.
The open road unknown, know that is what Scott, your kids, and your family are on at present. It can traverse both fear and hope. It becomes clearer as one moves forward and as with struggle building strength, we do find what we are made of by persevering through the fear and uncertainly. It is part of the road we are on, and am reminded yet again tenacious love overcomes it and leads home. It is worth the fight.
Thank you Meg and God speed,