Back in early October, I ran the MarcUS for Change race out of Stamford for Anne Marie. It was another one of those races that just seemed to fit. The races name, MarcUS for Change, embodied so many of the hopes that we have for this world, post December 14th. The race itself was for a young man that had passed away before his time. The races proceeds were headed off to help the Stamford Education system which I'm sure Anne would have approved of. Add to it that a good friend of mine, along with her beautiful daughter, decided to run it by my side, made the day even nicer.
There are some races where people approach me directly when they read my shirt and they reach out to say a kind word based on the name that I am wearing. There are other races where people shy away, unwilling to approach for one reason or another but I can hear them speak about the person I am running for as they pass along behind me. My race for Anne Marie went that way. Maybe it was because I was surrounded by a large group of teachers so they especially would be tuned into the name I bore on my back. But all I could hear behind me the whole day was, "That's Annie Marie Murphy from Sandy Hook. She died trying to save the children."
I must have heard that whispered behind me a dozens times, if not more, that day.
It filled me with so much joy to listen as people read my shirt and remembered. And what an honorable way to be remembered- leaving this world in an attempt to save the lives of children. Again, it solidified the purpose of this project for me. I was so happy to hear people remembering the adults for the heroes that they are.
When children are taken from us too soon, it's an easy thing to remember. Their names, their images are burned into our brains because the injustice is just far too great to comprehend. I always worried about the adults. I never wanted their memories to get lost in the shuffle. That race that day, helped me to understand that big or small, not one of the 26 are forgotten. We feel their loss equally and all of their names are forever etched onto our hearts.
There was a lot of joy the day of that run. I have a suggestion. If you've never taken a run along side a 5 year old child before...try it. It's more fun then I could ever hope to explain and it transports you back to your childhood, playing along side your friends. In Anne's name, we ran, we giggled, we played and we crossed the finish line, piggy back style, as a team. We smiled for her and I hope she was smiling down on us.
Here is Anne Marie Murphy. The 20th angel I have now run for.