Today is May 28, Memorial Day. 8 years ago today after and 8 year battle with cancer, my dad died at the age of 48. Instead of tearfully spending this solemn holiday remembering him and honoring the sacrifices of our nation’s military, I choose to celebrate their lives.
My dad would be so proud of me today because I can call myself an Idiot. I am a proud member of the Idiots Running Club. We are a wacky group spread far and wide. Some of us are ultra-marathoners, some are training for their first 5k. Whatever the distance, the only qualification to become an Idiot is to do dumb things and have fun while running. I felt that the best way to honor my dad was to enlist the help of the Idiots. Below is the post (that will soon be) on the Idiots Running Club website. If you’re not a member of the best club in the world, but want to submit a story for the book, not to worry… just click on the link to the Idiots website, take the oath, and start running. If you’re not a runner, we’re here to help you get started. I use our club’s Facebook page to connect and share wacky adventures. We even have professionals that give real, solid, free advice and stuff, yo.Idiots, I need your help.
Today is Memorial Day and it happens to be the 8th anniversary of my dad’s death. I am in the process of writing a book to honor him. He fought an 8 year battle with colorectal cancer. He truly hung the moon for me. He was the type of man that lit up the room. He was hilarious and always had a story and a smile for everyone he met.
After he passed away, I traveled to my hometown of Kansas City to help my mom with funeral arrangements. I stayed in his room and unearthed a treasure. While going through his closet, I found a box of his artwork. He loved to doodle, but I never realized how talented he was. I want the world to see his art, and read stories that offer encouragement and motivation to all who pick up the book. I wrote about this last year. If you would like to read it, and see some of the artwork please click here.
The last time I saw my dad, he told me to remember we each get one life. That has stuck with me. I think of his words every day, and I even have it tattooed on me (in French) along with his art. Those words have helped me to accomplish more than I ever dreamed…like running a marathon. Of course, I wrote about this too. If you would like to read more, click here or here.
So, here is what I need from you. I am looking for stories to fill the pages next to the artwork. Specifically, the types of stories I would like are:
- Your personal triumph over cancer
- The diagnosis of a loved one with cancer, that pushed you to make a difference (such as David’s story)
- I am also looking for inspirational quotes, such as my “Une Vie”, that have helped you to overcome challenges. These do not have to refer to cancer, but rather something inspirational that has helped you along the way. I am not looking for quotes by motivational speakers or celebrities, but rather personal words of encouragement from Idiots like us.
Because we are the Idiots Running Club, I would prefer that the stories have a running aspect to them, like mine (never running 1 mile, getting pissed at cancer, then running a marathon within 18 months just because my dad put those little words in my head). You don’t have to be an ultra or a marathoner to share your story. You just have to be an Idiot.
I hope to receive many submissions. I anticipate that I won’t be able to use them all, but I look forward to reading every one. My goal is to continue to work on this throughout the summer and have a complete package by my dad’s birthday (October 24). Yes, that’s a lofty goal, but I have learned I can do anything I put my mind to and I will accomplish this with your help.
I’ll admit, I have never published a book before. However, I have written and illustrated several children’s stories, and hope to self-publish my first one this summer. My life-long dream is to be an author. My dad’s words helped me learn just how strong I can be and I owe it to him to make my dream come true and honor his loving spirit. Proceeds from the book will go to the American Cancer Society from the Idiots Running Club.
**There will soon be a link on the Idiots Running Club to directly submit stories to. Until then, RUN.