Thursday, October 18, 2012

Run Finished! 125 days total September 24

  This is long over due I know sorry! Since I've been home it's been crazy between figuring out my future with loans kicking in shortly, trying to get back into a "normal"" lifestyle and catch up/thanmk anyone who supported me along the way. The Brotherly Love Run has concluded on September 24th at a little after 10am at the Atlantic City shoreline. On hand were members of the Gift of Life and AtlantiCare staff who were a HUGE help in this run and helped to make a great finish . I was also surrounded by many members of my family and friends who were able to attend.
 On the Friday night I reached Philadelphia I stayed at the Gift of Life House where individuals who need medical care in regards to organ and tissue donation can come and stay if their hospital location in the Philadelphia area is too far from home. I

The police of Egg Harbor Township and Atlantic City, New Jersey graciously gave a police escort which in addition to helping me to arrive safely, really helped the cause by drawing much more attention to myself as I crossed the streets down there, which in turn helped me to get my message out. My brother Brian also did the last mile with me, as I met him on the boardwalk and we went together to meet everyone before stepping onto the sand and running down into the ocean.
   It felt great and I was overjoyed at finishing this journey which the dream for stayed in my mind for over two and a half years. However, it also felt extremely surreal. I also am forever grateful for Gift of Life, AtlantiCare, and anyone who helped me along the way. Could not have been possible without every individual's help. After the time on the beach we went back to the Atlantic City Hospital for a lunch and everyone was welcome to come back.

    When I got home I struggled to believe that this was all real and had happened. It felt like I was coming off a cloud. Though the pictures and supplies confirm all of the memories I have, over the next week and still currently, the memories feel like scenes out of a distant movie who's title and plot has long been forgotten. This isn't to say my memory is fuzzy, but just that some of these events and things I went through seem so far out of a normal life that at times I feel it couldn't of been me. Talking to a couple of individuals who have experienced similar crazy events say the same thing. It also seems that it may never fully sink in, it may come and go, and at times i may not accept it, while others, to know confidently yes that was me. These individuals have voiced that yea it seems to come and go like a passing wind.
   This is also probably due to that some of the things I had to do to make it across no sane person would ever do, especially in areas that were all brand new to me and knowing no one in these areas. There were times when I couldn't find a place to sleep at and I would just crawl behind a church in a secluded spot late at night and sleep there before disappearing in the early morning. Similarly going through the Mojave Desert and just about passing out in the tent before the sun goes up in the first spot I deemed ok for what remained of the night. Then, staying in the shade at a rest stop or gas station before night and doing it all over.

    I also realize how far behind I became on this blog, but the question almost always as trade the blog for more miles (which I was able to finish about two weeks earlier at worst than anticipated)  or interacting with people whether in public or those who invited me into their homes The answer was the blog can wait but the opportunities presented would never be there again. I realize that though I definitely made some lifelong friends, the fact is some people I will never see again.  This fact I most remember from exemplified from a deaf man I met along the road a little outside Denver. He approached me on a bicycle and a wooden cross worn like a backpack and stopped while signing I love you. I struggled my best to convey what I was doing and to understand him. He saw by reading the sign and I asked where he was going and he just pointed west. He also pulled my arm up to pray with force of joyful enthusiasm and unexpected energy. Upon leaving he also signed so I could understand it that I'll see you in heaven. This act of parting left me with a slight sense of melancholy that I would not see this person again to learn more from him or who he was, but more so with such a level of profoundness of such a bold and surprising statement but also the truthfulness of it deeply moved me.

   Another common question I've received over the past couple of weeks is when my book will come out. I'm still up in the air about such a venture or whether to just to go back through this blog and present everything in prose from start to finish. The reason I am hesitant to say anything about a book is because of the possibility that such a work would confuse the main intention of this run. WHICH IS NOT ME! The run was to do something big to allow people to really stop and listen to what I have to say (the importance of organ donation and to honor my brother).I have perceived that some (not all) of those who have discussed with me the possibility of a book just want to hear of the stories of it, which I don't mean to downplay the journey at all, functions as a means to discuss the issue of organ donation and lack of registrants. I don't want the run to gain notoriety while losing it's main message is my biggest concern in (if any) possibility of a successful book. Similarly this run is not something in any way I am trying to gain anything from so with these in mind it logically would follow that sharing all stories on this blog would be the best means, especially if their is no national press that emerges. My ultimate goal initially to try to benchmark making a difference but with individuals who have registered as a result of the run I can feel perfectly satisfied. Will continue to weigh it on my mind.
  Similarly, I continue to be asked what I learned or how I developed. This in itself could create an entire book but just in perceptions I will say just how mesmerized I am by the beauty of the sky, which became such a wonderful canvas for the hours on end I had on the road.

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