What’s more, I had the privilege to guide her on a journey, beautifully captured, heading toward her first finish line. It seemed to be a transformative period in her life, and I, along with her friends and parents that were present (check out the cheering section in the above photo) had a front row seat.
She exuded joy throughout the entire process: swim; bike; run.
The morning of the Solana Beach Triathlon was something, in all my years of coaching and racing, I had never experienced before. K was beyond grateful. Beaming. She.lit.up.the.course.
Through the years, our shared love for triathlon turned into a much deeper friendship. A sister-like affection, she was a trusted confidant. I can only hope that I provided her with an ounce of the comfort that she provided for me. She offered a lifeline: through deployments, loneliness, cancer, motherhood.
She later joined me in another less-joyful club… As daughters who had lost our beloved fathers to cancer. Once again, she showed all of those around her grace. Through the pain, we were able to connect on a profound level. She loved her family more than anything.
Knowing that he would spend his day in HER classroom brought a peace as his parents and… for him. We knew, unequivocally, that he would be loved and taken care of. She embraced him, quirks and all. In fact, she marveled in them.
I am eternally grateful that my daughter was in her class this school year: A member of Her Dream Team. They shared a bond that will live forever.
When you are a kid, what’s more~a square peg~you need people who accept, love and celebrate you. K was that for my Kiddos. In fact; she was that for All her kids.
And now, our hearts are broken. The grief throughout the community is palpable.
Yet, there is also an overwhelming sense of gratitude for having had this shining light in our lives. She changed me. Us. And Everyone lucky enough to be in her world.
#runhappy #grateful #joyseeker #shine