Tuesday, October 11, 2011

MOURNING A DEATH, CELEBRATING LIFE IN CHICAGO MARATHON

I'm not a big fan of the whole, "everything happens for a reason", thing.
Nobody can ever convince me that anything good came from 9/11,
the tsunami in Japan, or earthquake in Japan a few years ago. Death
and destruction like that is incomprehensible.

On Sunday in Chicago, a pair of incidents gave many of  us a reason
to contemplate if a higher-power was sending a message or making
something happen for a reason. In the Marathon through the Windy
City, there was both tragedy and triumph within the span of
a few hours.


William Caviness, 35, of Greensboro, North Carolina and a fireman,
was running in the 26.2 mile race to raise money for the Firefighters Burn
Foundation. He raised almost $2,500, which doesn't sound like much,
but in these tough economic times, it's quite an accomplishment.


Caviness was just 500 yards from the finish line when he collapsed.
A team of medics, who were in an emergency tent just 50 yards from
Caviness, rush to his aid and re-started his heart. But just over 90
minutes later, Caviness died in a Chicago-area hospital. A firefighter
running in a marathon far from his home to raise money for others,
dies before he can present a check to the foundation. It doesn't get
much sadder than that. You can't blame many people if they are
asking, "Why? Why could something like that happen to someone
who was trying to do something so good?"


A few hours after the death of Caviness, Amber Miller gave new
life to her daughter,June. Miller, 27, and a veteran of seven marathons,
was running in the event despite the fact that she was 39 weeks
pregnant. I'm sure a lot of expectant mothers are saying, "running
a marathon is the last thing I'd be doing while pregnant." But Miller
said she is "crazy about running" and got her doctor's blessing to
run in the race. Miller ran half of the event and walked the last
half. It took her almost 6 and a hours hours to cross the line. During
the last mile or so of the race, Miller started experiencing contractions.
After finishing the race, she got something to eat, then it was off
to the hospital where she gave birth to a baby girl.


Unbearable grief and unbridled joy in the span of just a few hours.
One family has to mourn and bury a great man, while another
celebrates the entrance of a baby girl into the world and basks
in the glory of god's greatest gift.

A marathon takes a life, but also bears a new one. It just makes you
think a little, doesn't it?

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