Monday

A Challegning Race...

JoAnn Finsh line 
Hugging daughter-in-law, JoAnn Toronto at the finish line, while my daughter, Amy Toronto Weir looks on. Notice JoAnn on her toes as I lean down to reach her... like I said, a teeny, tiny, itty-bitty, little thing full of power, determination and grace under fire!  

  Takes My Breath Away
....and truly makes         my heart tingle!
 There are opportunities all around for us to have "Kodak Moments."  But with our lives as busy as they are, sometimes we have to really look for them, take the moment to breathe them in and savor them. But then, once in a blue moon, without warning, right in the middle of the hurry-hurry, busy-busy rat race, when we are least likely to notice such an event, God simply stops us in our tracks and literally knocks the wind out of us until we stop, look and listen to the magic and wonder before us. This past weekend, on October 27, it happened to me.  

I was on Perdido Key for the 4th Annual Wonderful Wacky Women Race. All kinds of things were buzzing around me. The race had already begun, runners were everywhere, support teams abounded, Marines were running in groups of runners and the whole thing was incredible. The sights, sounds and energy  was exhilarating but my mind was going 90 miles an hour about what else needed to be done. Then, without warning, as I turned around to put out yet another "fire", about 50 yards away from me, a single runner was headed towards me and the finish gate.  Just minutes behind the three place winners, but still respectively ahead of the rest of the pack, I saw a teeny-tiny, petite, little thing running towards me like there was no tomorrow. Dressed head to toe in wacky clothes for the event, she had broke into a long stride and was giving it all she had to the end. It was my daughter-in-law, JoAnn Toronto. With more than her own share of health issues, she'd been training to run this race by getting up very early every morning to run before my son, William left for work. A captain in the Air Force he had arranged for leave to tend their four little boys under the age of 8, whom she home schools on top of everything else. Totally forgetting the task I was on, I immediately started cheering her on. As she crossed the line, I ran to meet her. She fell into my arms, tears running down her face. The past 9 years of her life have pushed her to her limit. She had accomplished so much more than running 4 miles along the ocean this day and this race was symbolic of it in so many ways. She knew it and I knew it. Nothing had to be said.   

To anyone watching it might have just been a congratulatory hug, simple and quick. But for me, it was one of those moments that took my breath away. God had brought this amazing young woman into our family and at that moment, time stood still and my heart tingled as I held her in my arms. For me, these are the moments that make all the work worthwhile. These are the moments that make my life worth loving. These are the moments I will forever hold dear. Thank you Wacky Woman Lou Windom for capturing it on film but even more importantly, thank you JoAnn for capturing my heart. 

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