Posts Tagged ‘marathons’
Thursday, October 27th, 2011
The beautiful Tracy of Sellabitmum was mortified by the list for Mama Kat’s Writing Workshop I did last week of 22 things I’ve never done. This week, I’m writing 22 things I HAVE done, but I’m somehow I get the feeling I still won’t be cool enough. Story of my life.
1. Had Barry Bonds tell me I have nice legs.
2. Run two marathons.
3. Had two home births, one a surprise.
6. Swam with sting rays in the wild.
7. Tied a yellow ribbon round the old oak tree.
8. Been in an elevator with Tom Cruise.
9. Sang my lungs out at a Springsteen concert – more than a few times.
10. Stole my father’s cigarettes.
11. Stood many times on the field at Yankee Stadium, Fenway Park, Wrigley Field.
12. Sat on a hard wood pew at the funeral of a parent.
13. Had a broken heart.
14. Been kissed in kindergarten by a boy named Shaun Cassidy, but he wasn’t THE Shaun Cassidy.
15. Had champagne and beer poured over my head in a Major League clubhouse (stings your eyes like crazy, FYI).
16. Saw a high school kid drown.
17. Lost 30 pounds the summer I graduated college.
18. Drank beer in London, Bruges and Barcelona.
19. Owned a red dachshund named Stogie.
20. Moved five times – by myself – in seven years while pursuing my career.
21. Kept my mouth shut.
22. Fallen in love.
Monday, September 19th, 2011
We jogged down the street, chatting, just passing over our second mile.
It was slow. I have some asthma issues lately and get winded pretty easily. We were doing our first long run in preparation for our half-marathon that we had neglected to train for up until Sunday. The race is three weeks away, so we figured it was time to get going.
A runner came up behind us, said hello, and asked if we were training for something. When we told him, he said he was running the same race – except he was doing the full marathon – for the 27th time. He’d run the race every year since it began.
He jogged with us and we talked about running and the marathons he’d done and how he qualified for Boston years ago.
And then he said he assumed we were from the area, and when we said yes, he said, “I’m Lisa Frost’s father.”
My friend and I both immediately said, “Of course we know who Lisa Frost is.”
Ten years ago, on Sept. 11, she was on Flight 175 out of Boston. She phoned her father on a pay phone near the gate to tell him she’d hit traffic but she’d made the flight. She’d see him in LA. She loved him.
Ten years ago, on Sept. 11, Tom Frost was working the graveyard shift for Southern California Edison when he later got a call from a co-worker shortly after 5:30 a.m. to turn on the TV. He saw the first twin tower burning. And then, from the corner of the screen, he saw another plane slam into the South Tower of the World Trade Center.
He did not know he’d just watched the murder of his daughter until a little while later, when her friend called to tell him that was Flight 175. Lisa Frost was 22.
This is what Tom Frost told Kris and me as we jogged down a paved trail, rabbits darting into the brush on either side of us.
“I just want to keep her memory alive,” he said.
He wrote the inscription on the plaque that stands in a corner by the lake in our town, where Lisa grew up. It’s a beautiful plaque. It stands on a low pedestal in front of a tree planted in her honor. I’d stopped there during my run Thursday for a few quiet moments; the area was covered in flowers and balloons and candles and hand-drawn pictures from children.
He’d had to write the inscription, which tells of her academic achievements – she graduated summa cum laude with a double-major from Boston University in 2001 – but also of her kindness, two weeks after her death because the dedication would be on her birthday in December and they needed time to etch it.
“In granite. No pressure there,” he said.
We reached the end of the trail and, when we stopped briefly, he encouraged us to keep going. So we did.
The first time he ran the Boston Marathon, Lisa was still a student at BU and waited at the bottom of Heartbreak Hill to cheer on her father. When he ran it a year after her death, he stopped there for a few minutes to honor her memory.
A few weeks ago, he returned to Ground Zero for the 10-year anniversary. He found her name right away, on the top row, close to the doors of the museum.
And then my breath couldn’t keep up anymore, and we walked. The father who’d lost his daughter, and two mothers who couldn’t imagine how he’s gone on. How we’d go on. We wondered to ourselves whether keeping her memory alive kept him from moving forward, from making new memories of his own. There were tears mixed with our sweat (there would be more later, when we passed the plaque by the lake and, once again, stopped to read it).
We eventually parted ways. We stopped to get water and he kept going to finish his run.
We thanked him. He said “God bless” as he jogged away.
He left knowing he’d done his job. We remembered his daughter.
We would never forget.
Saturday, January 22nd, 2011
It was the eyebrows that got me.
Just tufts, really, and only at the very peak. Bright red. Still.
After chemo and radiation and a bone marrow transplant.
His hair has started growing back, more auburn than carrot, and now threaded with grey.
He was painfully thin. He looked somehow…less. (more…)