I wrote this yesterday and I'm not sure that I will post it ever on my public blog. But you Loopsters have not only changed my life, you've changed Adam's. So here I am, raw and uncut:
My heart aches. And I feel selfishly wrecked with grief. It isn't my story to tell. It isn't me to feel saddened by, inspired by, disappointed by. It doesn't have a Hollywood ending. It is real life. It is messy, complicated, full of love, and full of tears.
This morning, after covering nearly the same distance I did yesterday during the race, I took a few pretty pictures of brownstones lining the streets. The run was awful. I felt sluggish and uncomfortable. I smiled in my photos and walked the corner to sit on the stoop. As my heart rate slowed down, I felt tears welling in my eyes. I wiped them away and climbed upstairs.
It was far easier to feel nothing than everything as I shoved my emotions back inside.
But as I warmed up a cup of day-old coffee, I met Adam's eyes. The tears flooded. I was sad and mad that I was sad. How was I supposed to be the support person when I needed support myself? He shouldn't be consoling me. It felt so wrong that I needed his embrace.
Or was it?
I didn't want a life lesson yesterday. I wanted a happy finish photo. The spectators cheered for adversity and our family and friends awaited that Cinderella moment. Police officers cheered us down the entirety of Commonwealth Avenue. Shakeout runners fist-bumped Adam when we turned onto Hereford. Strangers clapped wildly as we made our way down Boylston with an entourage of volunteers. "Go Adam!" they cheered, "you've got this!"
It never occurred to me that giving everything he had might fall short of 3.1 miles.
This was Boston! This was us!
Just past the marathon finish line, he collapsed onto the curb for the final time. I wanted desperately for him to get up, keep going, and push another 10 minutes. But his body had weathered too much. 2.6 miles was what he could do. His legs had gone numb. And the fatigue exacerbated his lack of balance. He had collapsed 3 times already to the pavement.
At the time, I fought back tears as I grabbed the attention of the medical bus. I watched as 3 grown men helped load him up the stairs. I sat quietly next to him, not knowing the words to make it better.
Love is awful sometimes.
But one day, I know we will be retelling this story with a bit of time, distance, and perspective. And we might even laugh. We conquered the Heartbreak Hill of the 5K. He flung his wedding ring down Boylston during one fall and was more concerned about recouping the ring than hurting himself.
He did what he could with what he had yesterday. And I couldn't be more proud that he had the courage to try.