Friday, April 4, 2008

I actually went for a run this morning. 3 miles. I didn't have to walk. This is significant because after that last race in the driving wind and rain I got sick and busy. I ran a few more times after that and then just... stopped.

That was two months ago. Usually when I quit for a time, it takes a few runs for my lungs and heart to get back in the swing of things, but today I was fine. I didn't go fast or anything fancy, just my regular around the neighborhood jaunt up and down the hills for about 3.1 miles. It felt fantastic. Of course, there was that one part about a mile and half into it where I started to cry and had a lump in my throat and felt like falling off the sidewalk, but otherwise I was okay.

In my whole life, I don't think I have ever hurt this much for a friend. I know why. It's because I have a daughter now, and I know how much I love her. I was discussing this with another friend of mine once. This friend has a daughter, too, and is not known for his sensitive, emotional side. He said -and I remember it clearly- "You'd take a bullet for her" and I replied, "In an instant." And I would, too. There wouldn't even be any mulling over the concept. It would be an impulse, my love for my daughter is so great. I would take a bullet for her. I don't even have to consider it.

One of the ways men love is through acts of self-sacrifice -as opposed to affection and attention, for example. I think this is what makes men kinda go all flippy when their wives are pregnant. You just feel so helpless. And if there's anything men hate, it's not having the solution to the problem. They would rather be wrong than helpless, and given the choice they'd take neither. Deny the one and fake the other! But, hell, I'd take "wrong" any day of the week. (And Mrs. Ditchman doesn't hesitate to remind me when I'm wrong. Then the only real solution is to get back to work.)

So I think about Matt and Holly and Annabelle and I think about my own daughter and my heart deflates. You just want to do something and I don't know what. Pray again? Be grateful? Love my own family more? Work harder? How can we go on? The confusion of it all clouds the intellect, so you go for a run. Your breathing finds that rhythm, the pavement slides by beneath your feet. You feel healthy and you feel the breeze in your hair and the natural tap of gravity reverberating up your spine. You lift your head to see where you are, and you find yourself just crying about it all again.