The Last Mile

Her heart pounded with each grueling step. This morning’s run had been different than before. Something inside of her ached like never before. She needed to work it out, she needed to think, she needed to run…and run hard.

The path lay before her as it had many times before. She knew the terrain, the potholes, the hills. This six mile loop had been the journey of many of her deepest thoughts; though today, she needed more. The morning before last, she heard the news. Her dad had been rushed to the ER from an apparent heart attack. He was too young for that. Too vibrant. Too alive. Yet, there he was. Within hours, he lay on an operating table undergoing open heart surgery. She reflected how grateful she was that she encouraged them to update their estate plan last year with their attorney.

Flashes of memories raced through her head. Her dad holding her hand as they walked through their favorite park…him teaching her how to drive stick shift for the very first time…him walking her down the aisle when she said “I do” to the man she loved. A hard worker, never missed a day in of work in his life, well except for that one time his car broke down in the blizzard. She’d wait by the door for him to get home so they could play tea and dolls. He loved playing with her. He loved her. And she treasured the love of her father in her heart…the same heart that was now beating faster than her normal runs. She knew she should slow a bit, but she couldn’t, she needed to collect her thoughts, de-stress, pray.

A mile from home, a call came in over the music she was listening to. It was her mom. She frantically stopped to collect her breath before answering. She feared the worst, but hoped for the best. “Mom! How is he!? How’s dad!?” The gentle, calming voice of her mother replied, “Honey, he’s going to be ok. He’s out of surgery. He asked to see you.” “Mom, I’ll be there in an hour. Tell him I love him.” “He knows you do, Honey, but I’ll tell him.”

With that, she hung up and ran her last mile home. An unprecedented pace, for sure, as she quickly gathered her things and her family to tell them the good news… “Dad’s going to be ok…”