9/3/09

I'm walking the Liz Logelin 5K and I want to tell you why

Thursday~September 3rd

UPDATE: Warning: later in this post I will claim that a 5K walk = 5 miles. I have no idea why. I didn't think, I just typed. I do realize that 5K does not = 5 miles. I just decided it does because my brain does that sort of thing. I need medication, obviously.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

We grew up just down the road from each other. We've often joked that the country song that goes something like, "there were 700 fence posts between your place and mine and neither one of us was old enough to drive a car...," was written just for us.

This friend is a very big part of my heart. How do you sum up nearly 30 years of friendship (and counting) with stories and words?

You can't. So I will simply tell you that this friend stole a part of my heart when we were very young, while that heart was looking for lifetime friends. I'm happy to have had her keep that part all this time, and I know she always will.

Not long after college, I was having trouble finding myself so I moved back to our small home town and floundered around for a while. I spent a lot of time with my childhood friend and her long-time boyfriend. They welcomed me home. My friend became a teacher, I continued to flounder, and then suddenly tragedy struck.

Darren died one December day at the age of 28. After over three years together and a house together and a life together, he was gone. Out there, next to a field, my friend tried to revive him and couldn't. His life was gone.

He died unexpectedly because of a heart condition that no one knew he had.

Poof.

I remember the phone call, the one that let me know he was gone. I remember dropping my bag of groceries in disbelief and immediately thinking of my friend. Where was she? Oh no. Not this. What do I do?

I remember the night before the funeral, the way her mom grabbed my arms and looked at me so straight and said, "She needs you now," while tears streamed down her face and mine.

"I know." That's all I could say.

I remember one of the first times my friend wanted to leave the house after Darren was gone, how we drove around the lake aimlessly and talked about nothing, trying to pretend like it wasn't happening.

I remember feeling so helpless.

And I remember how I thought it was so unfair, that she had to deal with financial stress in the midst of it all. The way she had to figure out how she was going to make the house payment on her own on top of a hundred other financial obligations. The way she had to feel the pressure that money demands on top of letting Darren go.

While grieving, she had to look in the mirror and say this is the first day of your new life whether you like it or not.

Financial stress was a big part of that new life.

I hated that.

So on September 19th, I'm going to walk five miles, about four miles farther than the trek I used to make on my bike to my friend's house nearly every day of the summer while we were growing up. I'm going to do this walk even though I'm totally out of shape.

Visit the Liz Logelin Foundation

I'll walk for my friend and for people like her, some with dependant children, who find themselves stunned with unspeakable grief, left with too much to handle on top of their pain.

I'm walking with my friend Susan and her friend Tracey (who I thank for doing all the registering on my behalf due to my lack of organizational skills).

We'll be raising money for the Liz Logelin Foundation, a non-profit Matt Logelin began that honors those that are no longer here by supporting their families. Matt lost his beautiful wife, Liz, the day after she gave birth to their daughter Madeline. After his tragic loss, Matt received an outpouring of help, and wanted to extend the same grace to people in his same shoes. (You can read that story from the beginning by clicking here.)

And lastly, I want you to know that if you feel so inspired, you can help by clicking on the link to the Liz Logelin Foundation above and making a donation.

Or
, if you want to encourage me to NOT fall over while walking 5 miles (seriously, I'm that out of shape), you can email me and I'll give you my address. If you send me moolah (any small amount) for miles, I will take it with me on the day of the 5K and turn it over to the Liz Logelin Foundation. (If you'd rather use paypal, send me a message and let me know so we can work that out.)

fullcircle(underscore)doula(at sign)yahoo(dot)com

My hope is that, in a future post, not only can I share the multiple ways I humiliated myself on the day of the walk, but I can also give all of you a huge thank you for cheering me on through your generosity.

Also, for every comment left on this post, my family and I will donate a dollar. If the comments reach 100, I'll have to turn them off, simply because...well, that's all we can afford to donate right now. So thank you in advance for taking the time to comment. (if you don't know how, it's easy. Just click on the word 'comments.' You can even comment anonymously if you so desire.)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Today my life-long friend is a wife and a mother to three. She has spent years healing and starting over. She is in love and content. I talk about her here today because I've seen up close the strength it takes to live with grief. She's thankful that her tragedy didn't involve children, but in many cases, it does. Let's help them.


UPDATE: COMMENTS ARE NOW CLOSED. WHY? BECAUSE WE REACHED 100. THAT'S 100 DOLLARS FOR THE LIZ LOGELIN FOUNDATION, FOLKS. AND IT TOTALLY ROCKS THE PARTY! THANK YOU AND THEN THANK YOU AGAIN.

100 clicked right here to comment:

mandiegirl said...

This is awesome Heather. Thanks for telling us about it!

Life Is Beautiful said...

What a noble thing to do! I hope the walk goes well.

C @ Kid Things said...

Here's to walking the walk.

T & T Livesay said...

Silly Heather ... you don't have to walk five miles -- 3.2 miles!!! You surely will not fall over - you're young - you're SO YOUNG (quoting Elf).

T.

Kim said...

I will send some moolah to you also through paypal. You rock my socks my friend.

Manic Mother said...

Good for you! What a great organization!

Melanie J said...

I think what Matt Logelin set up is pretty incredible. Good luck!

Anonymous said...

You go girl!

susannah said...

my family has been on the receiving end this year after great loss. my mom has been so blessed, gifted, and literally saved financially by individuals who have given in this way. way to walk for goodness and grace!

Susan B. at warmchocmilk said...

You'll be happy to know the 5K equals 3.2 miles ;) We won't fall over, we'll do great. Hey, you walked 7 whole minutes to get to my house the onther day! You've been training!

Growin' with it! said...

what a heart wrenching post. and yet what a beautiful way to remind us there ARE ways we can give back, support and encourage others. way 2 go!

Chief said...

Good luck on the walk. What a wonderful thing you are doing for others.

Kate Coveny Hood said...

You're a good friend Heather - and you have the biggest heart.

a Tonggu Momma said...

I am sitting in my dining room, reading this, as I also watch Ring drive up to his house well past 7 PM, with his twins in the backseat of his car. Send me your address - we will give by the mile. It won't be much, but it will be something. Because the day care expenses... the medical bills insurance won't pay... the funeral costs... they can devastate.

Kara said...

Best of luck to you!

Deb said...

oh this should be good.

i think what you meant was 5k FEELS like it equals 5 miles. more like 500, if you ask me.

i'll be in touch for your address because i would love to send you a check. it might have to be small, but i do want to support you!

Bloggin Betty said...

I found you from my sister, Chief. And I think it is such a great thing you are doing! I can't imagine how hard it would be to lose someone and have to deal with the financial strains as well.

Jen said...

What a great cause!

Aunt LoLo said...

You go girl. Everyone needs a friend like you.

Aunt LoLo said...

You go girl. Everyone needs a friend like you.

blueviolet said...

I am not even remotely surprised with this post. What you did back then and what you're doing now shows the character so obvious in your writing.

Mommy Mo said...

You told me part of this story at lunch, didn't you? I was so wrapped up in my own "woe is me" pity party that I didn't listen as well as I should. Shame on me.

I'll paypal you a donation- please send deets.

Carrie said...

This sounds like a really neat foundation, and I'm so glad you're going to be a part of it! I wish I could donate! :(

Kaycee said...

What an amazing thing to do. And what a fantastic idea for a foundation! Good for you!

sara said...

that is a great thing to do and I do believe God will give you the strength you need to finish and not fall over!

Kimberly said...

I just love you and that big ole heart of yours. ~hugs~

Angie said...

Beautiful post for a beautiful friendship and a beautiful thing you are doing. She is blessed to have you in her life.

Anonymous said...

Enjoy your walk! It is a great thing you do for a great Foundation!

happygeek said...

Have a good walk. Losing a spouse is hard enough, without all the attending worries one has to deal with. This is a great foundation.

Mandy said...

What an incredible foundation! I would love to donate with PayPal also, so how do I do that?

Dave said...

you prolly run 5k in your daily chasings of 2 little men.

you got it in you, and if you don't, it will be given to you :-)

Kazzy said...

You go, girl Thanks for your continuing inspiration. I wish you lived down the street from me. I could use some true friends like you.

nosmallthing said...

Good for you!!! What a great thing to do. I hope you don't fall over.

Wendi @ Every Day Miracles said...

Heather - you are so awesome. This is a wonderful thing to do!!

Marisa said...

Go get 'em! I'm sure you'll do great!

radioactive girl said...

You are amazing. Who cares if you mixed up 5 miles and 5k...what you are doing is amazing!

mama-face said...

I want a friend like you in my corner. What a woman you are. I've read about Matt's story but did not' realize (or forgot) about the foundation. What an over looked need...the left behind spouse. Not a good term, but all I can up with.

3.8 miles. It'll seem like 5. See what a good friend I am!?

Really, thank you for this post, I bet it was difficult to even share on some level.

K said...

While you are walking, may you have happy feet!

Tooj said...

What a tragic story with a hopeful ending. I hope you enjoy your 5 mile...err...I mean, 3.1 mile walk. :) I can't wait until I can breathe a bit and donate to causes like this. I think at this point in our medical bill game, I'm a donating cause myself. But at least there are two....
We will cheer you on from afar. Enjoy!

Missy L said...

Here's a virtual hug for you <> - good luck on your walk and God Bless you for your giving heart.

Amy J said...

Thanks for sharing! I've been seeing the foundation name here and there and didn't know what it was. I'll be checking into it soon.

minnesotamom said...

Have fun at the walk!

Deb said...

You are an awesome story teller. And this story is particularly sweet. Good luck with your walk. And thank you for sharing - I am glad to know about this wonderful foundation!

cassie said...

You are amazing!

Sarah said...

This is fantastic. You inspire me!

togetherforgood said...

I'm posting for a buck. ;) Good for you doing this. You rock.

♥georgie♥ said...

I was in tears-what a story...friendship knows no boundaries...you are amazing

Jenny, the Bloggess said...

Poignant, and beautifully written.

Lydia said...

This is beautiful. Everyone should have such good friends! Best of luck on your walk.

Lula said...

You are a true friend.

Elaine A. said...

Enjoy your walk and congrats on doing such a wonderful thing.
I'm sorry for your friend's loss and pain but happy that she's content now.

And Matt's story just breaks my heart in a million pieces every time I think of it. I can only imagine how terribly hard it is to lose the love of your life and like that...

Mr Farty said...

The world could do with more people like you. Don't fall over too often.

heidi said...

Good luck, Heather. I find you extraordinary.

Anonymous said...

Because of this I will hug my friend extra tight today. Thank you. And good luck with the walk.

jodilee0123 said...

You will do great in the walk! It is amazing how we can all help in our own special ways. . . it does make a difference!!!!!

Anonymous said...

My father died when I was 13, leaving my mum and two kids. Everything they had was joint accounts, joint names, my dad never made a will, everything got frozen, so as well as the loss and us kids, my mum had to worry about buying groceries. Thank god for the relative, who in the middle of all the people who were offering to "help", came up and put a thousand pounds in my mums hand, just saying "you and the girls will need this".
It was a large amount of money for anyone in our family, it kept us going the couple of months it took for my mums wages to be put into a separate account. It meant my mum didn't have to worry about losing our home, or buying groceries on top of everything else.
Nice people might not talk about money, but my uncle made the difference and stopped a dreadful situation becoming an absolute disaster.My uncle would never accept any attempt at repaying the money.

Kirby said...

here's to you, your friend and matt and the loved ones that were lost.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing that amazing story!!

Adventures In Babywearing said...

I love you and I love Matt and I hate the reasons you have both have to do things like this but I love that you do.

Love,
Steph

Mommy K said...

Thanks for sharing why you're walking...and 3.2 miles should be a breeze-just don't get cocky and try to run it! =)

Anonymous said...

Since you asked twice, (and so nicely). I hope you walk goes wonderfully. What a great reason to get your bum up and moving!

Lenora said...

Good luck on the walk. I've been reading Matt's blog for awhile now. Beautifully written story, Heather!

Stephanie Salgado said...

I have supported the LLF for a while now, as it is such a great cause. I live in TX so cannot make the walk personally but that is great that you will be there walking for those who can't. Good luck & enjoy the walk.

jen said...

i would love to have the gumption or at least a few friends that would shove me to get up and walk it too. and the after party? i REALLY want to go to that ... but haven't figure out if it's feasible or not!
so yay! you! i'll be cheering you on.
or maybe i'll just get my act together and do it too.
thanks for sharing your personal story.

Marci said...

Good for you! Wish I was in California to walk with you!

Kristina P. said...

What a great cause! I wish you nothing but the best.

Anonymous said...

Anything to support the LLF.

Christine said...

What a beautiful post! You're a wonderful friend.

Hel said...

Good luck with your walk. I walked 1K the other day and realised how unfit I really am. I admire your commitment.

Anonymous said...

I agree with another anonymous: anything to support the LLF.

dkmissie said...

Good luck and emailing you as well

Allison said...

You are a great friend!

Kori said...

I think I have about three bucks in my paypal account; it's yours if you want it, just tell me where to send it.

Anonymous said...

good luck on the walk!

Anonymous said...

I am walking as well!! Cheers to you for doing this!! I'll look for you on the 19th!

cath said...

thanks for doing this!! i am not able to be there in person, but i appreciate knowing others will walk ... and you will love every step, i promise!

islandgirlsmama said...

good luck on the walk, you'll probably surprise yourself and feel great after....at least for helping the cause if not for the exersize!

Gina said...

Good luck! 3.1 miles goes quickly if you're in good company, which it sounds like you will be!

Anonymous said...

Best of luck!

Anonymous said...

Your telling of your friend's story and the story of the strength that your friendship gave to her, and probably you too, is amazing. You will succeed in your walk because you just have to - for your friend!

Anonymous said...

Good luck. You are a wonderful friend.

Beth said...

What an amazing story. Good for you!

Anonymous said...

Good luck! You'll do great! Matt & his foundation is wonderful!

L.T. Elliot said...

It doesn't surprise me that your goodness stretches back over time. I'm so glad you have a friend that's just as inherently good as you. God Bless.

Anonymous said...

Good luck! GREAT CAUSE! Friendships are the glue that holds us girls together
! :)

L.R. M-J said...

What a good written soliloquy...here's my 'bon courage' (I live in France) to help the LLF cause in every way possible. I can't cross the ocean, but my family's been so moved by Matt's blog/twitter, it's helped us to put the important things into perspective, and so we've made a donation and here's my comment too. Good Luck & Bonne Chance to you! If you're doing it w/friends that'll get you through the 5k--I'm walking La Parisienne (6k) in Paris next weekend to support breast cancer, with friends, we'll get each other through!

Jana Green said...

I am commenting for Matt and Liz.

Thanks for making me laugh...need all the laughs we can get, no matter what else is going on.

Corinne said...

Good luck Heather!! What a great cause :)

Christie said...

what a beautiful story about your friend!! best of luck to you on your walk for a truely great cause!!!

Jackie said...

What a beautiful touching tribute!!

Steph in Brooklyn said...

A beautiful post. The LLF is a such a worthy cause.

Mrs. Mama said...

Very touching story. Good luck with the walk. Wish I could be there, but I live on the other side of the country!

Lets take these comments to 100!!!

Alison said...

What a beautiful post. Good Luck!

Terry said...

Such a great cause! I hope the walk seems no more than the distance between your friend's house and yours growing up.

Laurie said...

Such a great cause and a sad story for both you and the Logelin Family. I actually had a heartbreaking tragedy like that recently when one of my students was hit and killed by a car. My prayers go out to all those who are missing their loved ones in heaven.
teach29504@yahoo.com

kim said...

what you're doing for your friend is wonderful. i have been so moved and awed, honestly, by the ways that people who have been through horrible things have turned their situation into a little bit (which is a lot) of good.
best of luck to you.

Jo said...

I will see you there!

http://minnesotajo.blogspot.com/2009/09/liz-logelin-foundation-was-established.html

Sherry said...

Am I commenter 100? Good luck on the 5 "mile" walk!! :)

L a u r a said...

Best wishes on your walk!

I just sent a copy of an obit to a friend in MN whose good friend here in TX, 43 years old, just died in a tragic accident and left a wife and three very young boys behind. Heartbreaking to say the least.

Peace to all...

Anonymous said...

Good Luck and best wishes! You are doing a great thing =0)

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