Memorial For Mom Killed While Jogging Causes Awe

As parents we are all going to have those moments when we act as childish as our kids—but events such as the 5-K Saturday help fill in the gaps.

We've all heard the saying, “Children learn what they live.” When I find myself in a bad mood or a no-patience sort of day, this concept scares me to no end.

What am I teaching my kids when I frantically scream, “I'm done! Go to your rooms!”

What do they think when I tell them, “Fine, eat all the food in the fridge. Payday isn't for a week and you can just be hungry until then if you want to eat like this today.”

And then there are other times when I think I much be teaching them something good. A year and a half ago my children stood by and watched as I had my head shaved to raise money and awareness for pediatric cancer research. I had hit my fundraising goal of $5,000 for St. Baldrick's and off came the hair.

No biggie, it grew back.

Saturday was another one of those moments that I hope my children can carry with them as a reminder of how we can reach out to others and choose to be positive people in an often negative world.

As Mahatma Gandhi said, “Be the change you want to see in the world.”

After many months, several planning meetings and countless emails, Saturday morning I woke up at to celebrate the life of Lisa Clay Styles, a Mt. Lebanon mother killed last year while running with her children.

I had been working as a race director for the first time with her husband, her friend and the owner of Fleet Feet Pittsburgh all on the team. It was a lot more work than I anticipated, and for the week leading up to the event I didn't eat or sleep much (on the plus side, I lost three pounds last week!).

In addition to the race, we had planned an after-party complete with clown, DJ and a ton of raffle prizes. Those were the more obvious things that needed to be planned. Behind the scenes we needed permits, cones (which I completely overestimated), a last-minute tent in case of rain, lane closures and police assistance.

I had a constant list running through my head of what I was forgetting or what could possibly go wrong. From 5 a.m. until 8:45 a.m., this list slowly had things crossed off as one detail after another fell into place.

Then, as I walked from the grove to the race in time for the start, all of my fears and anxieties melted away and were replaced with an overwhelming sense of awe.

I rounded the corner to the sight of close to 700 people lined up waiting for the gun to go off and the race to begin. The outpouring of support from the community completely humbled me. I was so proud to be part of such a moving tribute.

As parents we are all going to have those moments when we act as childish as our kids. We are going to over react at times. We are going to have regrets no matter how hard we try to be the best parents we can.

I suppose that by being the best people we can be and teaching our children to do the same can fill those gaps left for when we are less than perfect. 

Kevin Smith June 29, 2011 at 03:29 PM
Excellent job on the event! Heard lots of good reviews. Lisa would be proud of your effort Kevin Smith


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