On most runs I wear an armband with “Abbey” sewn onto it. My mother-in-law made the armband for my running of a road race in 2006 - two months after our Abigail was born still.
I am currently training for that August race again (as I have every year since 1996). And, while out on a run the other day, I started thinking about the upcoming race and Abigail. Abbey or Abigail? I most often refer to her as Abigail rather than Abbey. We never got to find out what she would have wanted to be called. She probably would have preferred Abbey. But, because I can be such a traditionalist, I would probably call her Abigail.
This year’s race is for Anna, and like every other year when I run this race, I will run with a heavy heart. I will be thinking of my now deceased dad who, along with my mother, came to the race every year to cheer my brothers and me on. I also will think of my niece Julie who, due to complications from cystic fibrosis, died at the age of 13 in 2003. And, of course, I will think about Abigail.
I will run the race in August hard. I will run strong. I will run with purpose. Most importantly, I will run with my heart open to those I love.