I'm sorry to announce that my second marathon honoree, Patti, passed away this past Friday. In February, when I started on this marathon journey, I had hopes that both Herb and Patti would at least make it long enough to know that I crossed the finish line for them. Sadly, both of their bodies were just too sick, and my run is going to have to be in their memory instead. I'm not sorry that they will miss that opportunity because, quite frankly, both of them had a long, hard struggle with cancer and I could never have wished them a prolonged suffering.
Patti herself was acutely aware of what an undertaking a marathon is. She has been a lifelong athlete and raced many races herself. So when I offered to run in her name, I could tell she understood my gesture and for me that was good enough. Patti was very much a giver and not in a material sense. Sure she would give gifts, but it was the thought and intentions behind them. When I was a kid, anytime that I knew that I would be seeing Patti I was always sure to have a new drawing for her. She would always shower on the praise and encouragement which in turn fueled my desire to grow my skills. Every once in awhile there would be pencils and markers accompanying those compliments.
Over the years, new running shoes also showed up because of her. She lead an active and healthy lifestyle, and when me and my best friend showed an interest in track she wholeheartedly supported us. I took my own initiative to become a runner, and I very much followed my dad's lead, but Patti was a strong supporter of a great habit to form. I call myself a runner, and I believe that Patti was a key player in my running past.
And that's how Patti was - a steward of positive growth. She had a sparkle to her and it was easy to see how much she cared about everyone around her. I know without a doubt that those feelings are reciprocated. Patti will be missed very much by many, including myself.