Friday, August 27, 2010

5 years continued - Thank you all so much.

The comments, emails and phone calls have been overwhelming. Thank you so much. I would not be where I am today without the love and support of so many people like you.

Your words are inspirational! – I have to share. 

I also stuck all of these commentsinto a wordle ( - I don't know - it is just something I do.

You will never know how much I needed to be reminded about what is important with my 17 year old daughter. We have been struggling over some issues, that in the big picture, are not that important. Thank you for putting yourself out there. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

I am proud of your blog about your family. I knew about your loss but not the details. I have to say I shed some tears in reading your story. They would be so proud of who you are. I have been and will continue to keep you in my prayers. Thank you for sharing such a personal story.

I know many of have told you these same words, but I mean them. I am here and will do anything for you.

I gotta tell you James, from a man to a man, You are a beautiful person!
Thanks for your writing these past few days. I shared your link on my blog, because, I think, people need the perspective of your unimaginable experience. This perspective can only create a better world around those who read your story. As I have taken your wisdom, I am giving you my strength in return, for you to use it at your will.

Hi James, First of all, your daughter is so beautiful and I can tell how proud that you are of her! Secondly, I am in awe of your strength. All of these posts are so lovely and you have touched my heart by sharing something so personal. Thank you:)

Hi James, I found your blog through my friend Ginny. I so sorry for your loss and my heart goes out to you. I could not make it through your post without the tears falling down my cheeks. God bless you.

Again, I am at a loss for words. I read all 3 posts and what I come away with more than anything else is a very powerful lesson - appreciate every moment you have with your loved ones. Don't take anything for granted - which I know I have for sure. Thank you for sharing your story.

I've been reading your blog posts, and I can't imagine how difficult it was for you to do that. I had admired your strength and courage the days following and my admiration continues to this day. I had started to write you on several occasions to tell you this, but could never finish out of fear of offending you or seeming self indulgent. To say you "loved your family" or that "they meant the world to you" does NOT do those words justice. What you had was beyond words. I always valued our friendship for the laughs, and the "interesting" topics that always seemed to pop up in our conversations. But mostly, I valued you because you are a good man.

Wow. There are no words... I admire your strength. This is a great reminder to love, hug and kiss those that are important to you each day.

You're a beautiful soul. Thank you.

I don't have words to say. You are a strong person to share such a difficult story. Thank you.

I know your wife and daughter are looking down on you and giving you the strength to share those beautiful thoughts will all of us. Thanks so much for sharing. Take care.

I read your post this morning and find it hard to put in words how it makes me feel. A waterfall of different emotions I guess will have to do. I wanted to send you a note to thank you for having the courage to share your story. It will have an impact on others as it has for me. It may just be small things like, changing my lunch plans today so I can go home and have lunch with my wife and daughter instead of going out with the guys. Or getting back into the habit of putting my kids to bed “twice”. Once, for real where I might read a book and pray with them but then again an hour later when they are fast asleep where I just stare at them, studying every feature of their faces and I ask God to help me be a better Father. Or finding more patience when my Wife interrupts me, again, while I am in the middle of dealing with an issue to tell me something about her day. I can only imagine where you found the strength and courage to do your first bike race this weekend. I know today must be very difficult for you as well. Please find some comfort in knowing that many thoughts and prayers are heading your way.

I am blown away by your strength and courage for sharing your story with us. Your daughter is absolutely beautiful. I hope that your posts have helped you reach the level of acceptance even more.

Just wanted to let you know I read your blog today and I cried like a baby! Lance gave us a heads up on the emotional weight of the post today. I never spoke of the story after you shared it with us on our way to Cheeha last year. I didnt even tell my wife your story but I did start sending her I love you text more!!

I know your wife and daughter are looking down on you and giving you the strength to share those beautiful thoughts will all of us. Thanks so much for sharing.

I can't even begin to imagine what you must have gone through and what you still go through today. This post must have been incredibly difficult to write. I am so sorry for your losses. Take those wonderful memories of your wife and daughter and hold onto them! And, thank you for reminding us of what is truly important.

You are just amazing. Cannot imagine being where you are today after that. Thank you so much for sharing and reminding us of what's important. Wow.

I clicked over to your blog last night and read the first post of "5 years." During this time, my husband came in. He was holding our 8 week old daughter and wanted to know why I was crying. I was so sad for you I couldn't read parts two and three until this morning.

Thank you for sharing. It is so important to not let minutia supersede the important things and moments in life. I'm glad that you already knew this BEFORE. What a terrible way to reaffirm that though.

Ok, you've blown me away here! What an amazingly brave, strong person you are. Thanks so much for sharing this with us.

Yes, the injection of humor made my smile. Very catchy titles :) I am so glad that sharing your story on paper has shown you how far you have grown.

Love that injection of humor :) the part about "I felt like I was somehow betraying myself - not being able to say things" is really resonating with me today. There are dumb secrets I keep from the world and I definitely haven't felt like myself in a long while. Some days I seem to make progress with it and others... major steps back.

I've read all 3 of these posts and I still have no idea what to say, which is rare. I guess where I get to is that end of it all you took the worst possible situation that could ever happen and dealt with it in such a way that you are where you are today. That is frickin' incredible.

Thank you for finding the strength to share this...there are no words. Yes, I'm crying...they were beautiful.

Heartbreaking and uplifting at the same time. Your strength and your love come through very clearly in your words. I am deeply saddened by your loss, but equally amazed at how you have come through this experience. I'm not the most emotional person, but the caption from the photo above knocked the wind out of me and left me in tears. Lots of kisses and hugs planned for my daughter tonight. Thank you for sharing.

You should be a proud father. How beautiful! Anyone who reads your posts this week walks away with something more, in some way. I hope you walk forward after this week with a stronger sense of healing. I also hope you know your friends are behind you in your journey forward. I love the last paragraph. This summer my blog should be Run'n & Cry'n but - no more. I'm moving forward too. Cool weather's on the way, getting stronger after each run, & we will be move'n faster this fall. Can't wait to follow your journey to the Mardi Gras marathon and BOSTON. (although it's wrong that you BQ'ed on your 1st try - ha ha - it took me 15 tries - yes, I've been told I'm hard headed)

James, Thank you for sharing your experiences with us. They are very moving and have given me a lot to think about. I enjoy sharing blogs with everyone because I get to learn about ins and outs of nutrition and training, today you have given me much more think about and I will never be able thank you enough for that.

It is sad to me... that I take things for granted every day. What you have written this week has really struck a nerve. Currently in the process of becoming a better person to those around me. It is not until something like this comes out and you know that a friend has gone through this that you have to sit back and re-evaluate your life and your choices. I ask myself, what would I do if Heather was taken from me. I don't think I could function. Unfortunately emotions are not calculated and can never be linear. This is the difference between humanity and science I guess.

Thank you for sharing. It was and continues to be powerful. I just want to say that I'm glad to know you...truly...Strongest person I know.

James, I echo what Becky says. I think you are an angel. Not that I believe in all of that, but I do believe that some things happen, and some people are chosen to be the bearers of stories and experiences that get shared and passed to the benefit of all. Thank you James. P.S. it was great to see you on the Trace the other day! I was in the process of getting my butt was getting kicked by Laura and Jessi.

I hope that you sharing this with us will give you a sense of acceptance for who you are. I understand how you might feel that you were not "yourself" because you had this part of you that we did know. I respect you so much for being open about this. We now know you so much better. There may be some who will be uncomfortable because of the information that you have shared with us. Those people have their own secrets and might not know how to relate to someone who is so open. I hope that when I hugged you last night, I did not hurt your sunburn.

James, I am now your follower. I really like your posts and how you express your feelings. You are an inspiration! You daughter and wife were very beautiful people! I am sure they would be very proud of you for moving on with your life and not getting stuck in steps 1 and 2. You are a brave and very strong man! God is very proud of you! Peace!

I had no idea. Thank you for reminding me to cherish what is most important to me. My boys, including my husband are what matter most and all the trivial stuff seems so insignificant when imagining losing them. I wish you peace and happiness and thank you again for putting yourself out there. I am glad to have seen a part of your super girls in you.

I have just read through your last two posts, with tears in my eyes. You are so amazing and strong to have come through this with such a healthy outlook and lifestyle. What a blessing you had in having loved two such amazing girls. They are absolutely beautiful!! I will make a special effort to hug/kiss/love my three babies (19, 16 and 11) and my husband. All my support to you.

My heart is full and so are my eyes. Your Super Girls are so beautiful. I am so sorry for your loss. This really puts a lot into perspective - as you said, it is so important to live in the now because you never know what will happen tomorrow. Big hugs to you.

I too don't know what to say. How wonderful that the three of you spent so many wonderful moments together and knew that you loved each other with all of your being. I am so sorry for your loss.

It amazes me how strong you are and how you've managed to make so many positives from such a bad moment. Lainie is gorgeous - I am sure she is dancing every night away in that dress! I hope your community is still as strong now as it was 5 yrs ago.

James, I am catching up on your other post and this one. I am so sorry for your loss. What you have done with your life since then has been incredible and I hope you continue with your goals as an athlete. I'm speechless. Thank you for opening your heart and sharing. You strength is amazing.

James, I'm sorry. How terribly tragic and heart wrenching. Sharla and Lainie are beautiful. Thank you for sharing.

My heart is so full right now. I just thank you for opening up and sharing. I feel your strength. I love the last paragraph. Thanks again.

I had to read this twice to kind of comprehend what I was reading. I am so sorry for your loss and the strength it took to share this story is beyond any words I can think of. And thank you for the reminder that we shouldn’t worry about the little things; it’s the things that bring us happiness and joy what is important.

Wow. You are more than an Ironman... Praying for your successful AFTER.

I can't even tell you how sorry I am!!!! You are a VERY strong person.

James, I've read this twice now and am sitting here with tears streaming down my face...I am inspired by how you've chosen to live your life! (before and after)...when you said "The house was a mess. The chores were not done. And we did not care." it's true, no one will ever regret not cleaning the house, but they will regret not spending enough time with their loved ones. You are a very brave person. Thank you for the reminder to tell our loved ones that we care about them.

You are an inspiration, James. I am still in tears. This is so hard to bear. You are a very strong person. Thank you for sharing this with us. I don't know if I would make it. I feel like giving you a big hug...but if I do, I will break down in tears. God bless you, man!

You wife and daughter will live on in the man that you have become. You reflect the love that you shared with them. I am honored that you are willing to share this with us.

I read yesterday's post and then had no idea how to even respond, but I was certainly in tears. I'm sure the pain will always be there but I hope writing about this has been cathartic. It certainly makes me realize how things can change in the blink of an eye.

I seriously cannot fathom... I mean, you hear about this happening to people, but you never understand it and you can never put this into perspective. In tears again reading this. I mean, I just hurt for you. Your daughter's smile shows how truly happy she was. I do not blame you for backing up your memories and sending them to different people so you will always have them. I would have done the same thing.

You made me CRY! I just keep putting myself in your position and I know I wouldn't be able to recover.

James, that was very courageous to post and I am so sorry for your loss. Your strength and perspective is very inspiring!

I love you.

Thank you for sharing this with us. I had no idea you had been through this and it's the ultimate reminder to embrace life and the people we love. You are incredible for having such positive perspective and cherishing the memories.

I think this goes down as my favorite post. It's gut-level honest. And endearing. And heart wrenching. And brave beyond belief.

What a courageous and strong person you are. Thank you for sharing your story.

James - thanks so much for sharing such an important part of your life. Thanks also for reminding us that today is really important. I so enjoyed running with you on Sunday, of course, I didn't know at the time how important that day was for you.

Wow. This was an incredibly moving post. I read it and re-read it. I'm blown away with what you went through. As soon as I finished, I sent my wife a quick, "Love you" text message. It took two seconds - peanuts in the grand scheme of things. I got an "I love you too :)" message back. You said it best, "That was a gift." Thank you so much for sharing!

I am so very very sorry for your loss. Thank you for your sharing your story with us all. Big hugs to you.

You truly are a remarkable person. Thanks for sharing this. I have to agree with Jennifer - honored to be your friend.

James, I am so sorry for your loss. This is a heartbreaking story. Oh my goodness. You are so brave. I am so blown away. I am in tears. This is beyond what I could ever imagine. God bless you!

I too am blown away. Thank you for sharing it. It must have taken everything you got to write all that down. I hope it was therapeutic to get that out. I hope that if I was face with that type of adversity I would be half as inspirational as you. Kudos to you for your valiant spirit. I am so sorry for your losses.

You never knew how strong you were until being strong was the only choice you had. (my favorite quote) When I lost my mom my dad told me life is for living. It is the best way to celebrate the blessing of life. Thank you for sharing something that is beyond what I could imagine!!!!

James, I am so sorry. This is incredibly heart-breaking to read, let alone be in your shoes. Thank you, for being brave enough to share. I know it's not easy to talk about. You are very fortunate to have had great "last" memories with them and not a silly argument. I am glad you've picked up your pieces and are trying to move forward each day. We may be strangers, but know you always have the support of your running/tri-ing blog friends should you ever need anything.

Twenty two years ago my oldest sister died in a car wreck. Now that I am a parent, I can't imagine the heartache of losing a child. I am glad to see you were able to pick yourself up and carry on.

I am in tears reading this. I am sorry for your loss, this is something so big that I know I could never handle it or deal with it or accept it. I can only imagine what it took for you to compose this post but in all honesty the memories are what is important, and for you to cherish them and have them is what matters. I thank God for allowing you to experience that perfect day with your family.

James, I am blown away. I have known you for a couple of years now and this is such an amazing story in so many ways. Thank you for sharing. I can tell it has been good for you to do this. I am honored to be your friend. Once again I wanted to tell you how much you touched me know my oldest just turned 19 and I can relate to where you were at that point in your life... I have read it 4 times today.....I think you made the right decision by keeping this close to your heart for so long. I also know how many people you touched today by sharing your story....

5-years-feels-like-blink-of-eye - part 1

5-years-continued - part 2


5-years-continued-thank-you-all-so-much - part 4


Emz said...

I love that you put all of these into one post.

So incredible. You and this blogging community.

Julie said...

Okay, so I am tearing up yet again:) You are thought highly of...these comments show how much!

Thank you for sharing again. I want you to have a wonderful weekend!

misszippy said...

Awesome. I have been thinking about you and your girls over the past few days. Thanks again for opening up to us.

lindsay said...

ditto to the above. i feel like this is/was a huge "movement" for many in our blogging community. you don't know how many lives you've touched and changed this week!

LMC said...

I am new to your blog and got here from Ginny's blog. I was not going to comment because I can't imagine what I could possibly say that would help you or anyone. But, the fact that you posted comments, means that they matter to you and perhaps help you in some way. So, I decided I would give it a go. I agree with Lindsay. You have touched and changed many of us who have read your recent posts. Perspective matters and you have provided it for many of us and I for one am eternally grateful. You must know that you have survived what others can not even imagine and what some have not. Use that knowledge and the hopes, good wishes and positive thoughts that we all have for you to carry you through the rough spots that may still exist. While we may not fully understand what your soul has experienced in the past 5 years, we support you and we hope that helps in some small way!!