Sunday, March 13, 2005

Step by Step

I completed the three miles of the AIDS Walk 2005. Several times I noted that it was the same path of my first ever 10K and how different the two experiences were. One offers the opportunity to be a part of a united voice against a disease that affects 1 in 90 Houstonians. The other is a competition (at least for some, I'm more interested in breathing that racing when I complete a "fun run"). Both underscore my chosen city's diversity. But there's nothing quite like the AIDS Walk. This year proved no exception.

I raised money for the first time. That was new for me. Because I signed on with Shell as a "team member," they will match my contributions. So . . . drum roll please . . . friends and family helped me contribute $1210 to the cause!

To these friends and family I say a BIG thank you. I kept my promise and took you with me . . . even read a list of your names to the folks I was walking with. Because I don't use names here, I'll list you in a way that captures at least one of the reasons I thank God for you:
  • You saw how bad an athlete I was when we played softball together and not once did you ever make me feel less than for it
  • With each book, email, or surprise note in snail mail, you encourage me to find the humor, the possibilities, the power of words
  • Once you sat across a table (ladened with tasty treats from both your cooking talents) and heard me confess what I imagined was the darkest of my secrets and you offered me unconditional love
  • You never fail to laugh at my jokes or conclude a phone conversation without having made me feel creative
  • When I approach your ages, I pray that I will have touched half the lives you have touched with your compassion
  • In the turmoil of a life littered with other people's sorrows, you have created a work of art from the remains and you don't even seem to know the impact you make daily
  • My faith is made stronger as your roots grow deeper and I see the integrity with which you both live your lives
  • You are not through learning and with children nearing independence your hey day of ministry is just beginning
  • As one of the most practical women I know, you still recognize the value in the pursuit of ideas and the support of people
  • You find your niche and you serve well . . . usually behind the scenes and anonymously, but very well
  • With you I feel like royalty, with you there is always a crowd, with you beauty is easier to behold in people, places and things
  • You love my sister and support her sister even when the miles separate us
  • You help me know that Bart never really left me (ten years ago this week) and that "brothers" can come in all shapes and sizes
  • The two of you have made a place for me in your home, in your hearts, and I strive pretty regularly to give of myself with as much intelligence and sensitivity as you give to others

God bless each of you as you have blessed me. Step by step we make the world a slightly better place. THANK YOU!


Anonymous said...

As right fielders go, you weren't bad.

Jean said...

So that you all know, we did say your names (anonymous in some cases) out loud prior to the walk as we circled together and prepared for the walk. It was a nice way to recognize you and your contributions and remember why we were there.