Sunday, October 23, 2011


What a month.

I love autumn, but this one has been work. The week leading up to October 15, which would have been my 17th year married to Dori, was hard. I was quiet, introverted, and mostly sad.

The morning of the 15th, I ran 12 miles, six with friends and the last six solo. I ran too hard on the return route, but I couldn't stop myself. So much for tapering. Later that day, the kids and I went to watch Vanderbilt play Georgia. Seventeen years ago to the day, Vanderbilt played Georgia hours before our wedding. I watched the game, a great one in fact, but my mind was elsewhere.

"How are the kids?" I hear that question 10 times a week. I answer it the same: "It's hard for them right now." The good news is they're confronting some of their grief. The bad news is their dad has to watch it. Being a parent right now is taking a toll, but we are making progress. We also have a long way to go.

This afternoon on a hike, I asked the kids if they remembered a homily from late summer. The theme - bad things will happen to all of us, if they haven't already - had my attention. He said our response to tragedy or turmoil is most important. I'm not sure if they believe the priest's conclusion, but I am sure they're thinking about it.

We're working on fundamentals around here. Blocking and tackling. We don't have any trick plays and couldn't run any if we tried. We have a lot of weeding to do. Today's talk and hike killed a few weeds, but weeding never ends, which I think the kids are beginning to understand. My plan is to continue with an honest, direct approach.

Thursday night, my friends Tony and Mary Belle hosted a gathering to raise money for a discovery grant, which can lead to some profound discoveries that make a tremendous impact on lives, for the Vanderbilt Ingram Cancer Center. VICC treated Tony's thyroid cancer successfully and Dori's leukemia. To achieve a grant, we needed to raise $35,000. We're at $44,000 and counting and hopefully will raise enough to consider making it two discovery grants. You can give online referencing the Dori Brown Discovery Grant at: If you would like to donate to my run in support of the Kanzius Cancer Research Foundation you can honor Dori and still give here. Many cyber-thanks you's.

Last night, a friend asked if anyone was running with me at next Sunday's Cape Cod Marathon. I shared I unsuccessfully tried to recruit a friend, then added, "Dori will be with me the whole run. We're going to kick this race square in the a**."

After all the training, 438 miles to date along with cross-training, I am grateful to be pain free. Yesterday, I cruised eight smooth miles in the hills of Percy Warner Park. I am ready and eager to tie my shoes.


Colleen said...

Good luck to you Jim! You're inspiring your kids and the rest of us. Hope you and Dori kick some a**.

Desirea Fields said...

Have been thinking about you and your kids lately. Had a patient who's husband was amazingly kind and supportive, and I thought of you. I continue to be amazed at your diligent work to support cancer research. I also hope you and Dori kick some a** in the coming marathon! May we all run (or walk/jog) in honor of people as amazing as Dori.
Desirea Fields