October 13, 2009

Perseverance

My dad was a heavy smoker for over 20 years. He gave up cigarettes in favor of a pipe, then one day he gave that up and started on a health quest...in his 50s! As part of his quest, he began jogging. I was very young during this time and don't remember all the details of his health regime, but it must have been incredibly hard in the beginning, yet he persevered.

I do remember that he jogged every day, unless he was ill or had some other excuse - but it had to be a really good excuse for him to skip a day. He even jogged when we went on vacation! His usual morning run was about 5 miles. He wasn't fast, but he was steady. He enjoyed entering all the short 3-5 mile runs that were common in our small town, and he became well known at these events. More often than not, he was the last to finish these races, so he would be led in by a police car with lights flashing. He loved it. Everyone who was a regular in the jogging circuit in town knew about Mr. Mac. After participating in all those races for over 20 years, he amassed quite a collection of trophies... 43 to be exact! They were proudly displayed throughout my parents' house and became a normal part of the decor. Even after my dad's death, my mom kept them out. When my mom died, we boxed them up and trucked them to Colorado and stored them in the garage, where they have sat for almost three years.

I think this one is my favorite...
He was 76 years old when he received this one...
Most of his trophies were for 2nd place, but sometimes he won 1st...
and sometimes he won 5th...
And if 43 trophies weren't enough, he also had an impressive collection of plaques from his many years of service as a social worker...
I am incredibly proud of my dad and the accomplishments he achieved during his 86 years on this earth. If anyone was a testament to the power of perseverance, he definitely was. I have come to realize that we don't have to hold on to "things" to hold on to people, so I have decided to keep just a few, then donate the rest to others who will be able to use them. But not before touching each and every one and lingering in the memories and pride I feel for my dad.

9 comments:

LiveWorkDream said...

Lilla, you're so right; it's not things that make us who we are. I know it must be hard to let go of those trophies (your Dad was one cool dude!), but all any of us really need to remember our loved ones are the memories that made them so special.

I just got rid of a bunch of old family stuff so I know how you feel.

frugalmom said...

Great post. Sometimes, I think the memories stand out more in situations like these than the item itself. I love that you have the opportunity to walk back thru memory lane and that you will be able to pass on some of those awards so that others may have the chance to do the same one day as well.

Susie said...

I remember seeing him run everywhere. "There's Lilla's Dad." God Bless you for cherishing all the wonderful memories that he worked so hard to achieve....

Lilla said...

Rene...yes, my dad was one cool dude, although I wouldn't admit it when I was younger!

Marcee...definitely lots of memories tied to those trophies and plaques. I've been walking down memory lane for several months now, and every time I think I'm at the end, I round another corner and the road continues!

Susie...your comment made me laugh! It was a common sight to see my dad pounding the pavement in our little hometown, wasn't it? Thanks for the reminder.

jasperlilith said...

what wonderful memories he left behind for you to cherish...

Lilla said...

Daune...how right you are! And big shoes to fill...both of my parents!

basicliving@backtobasicliving.com said...

What a sweet post, Lilla. I know it's been a difficult and emotional time going through all those boxes, but I've enjoyed reading about the memories they've brought back to you. It sounds like your dad was an amazing person! Thanks for sharing this small part of him.

Anonymous said...

Lilla, what a neat way to remember your father and to share it with us makes it even more special. Thanks for the reminder that you can change anything you want at any time in one's life.
Love, Jane

Lilla said...

Penny and Jane....glad you enjoyed the post and sharing my walk down memory lane. I appreciate the compliments.