The past two days since TheCall have been filled with farewells, a banquet, a church service, a couple of team meals and many many tears. I have been busier than I thought, but I will attempt to describe Day 20 and the day of TheCall. I may do it in small segments as the days were filled with so many unforgettable moments. I will definitely never be the same...
We felt as a team Day 20 held a significant finish line for us as it was the last long mileage day and the last day without schedules and cameras. We were to do approximately 9 miles. The route took us through many low income areas and very busy streets as we were well into Dallas city limits. Many of our friends and fans came out to cheer us on. (warning: rather emotional content ahead)
My sister was one of them. I have dedicated this walk to her, her incredible story of fighting for babies, and little Richy. I have stood helplessly beside her for 12 years watching her go in and out of hospitals holding fragile infants and endure countless hours of just waiting. Waiting in her times of bed rest. Waiting in Neonatal Intensive Care. Waiting to hear Richy breathe AGAIN. Waiting in the ER as he is examined by a neurologist AGAIN.. Waiting for Richy to see. Waiting for Richy to walk. Waiting for the twins. Waiting for hope. Waiting for the grief to lift. Waiting for Toby. Waiting for Brynn. Waiting while raising the money to adopt a baby. Waiting for Tristan to be born. Waiting to take him home. And waiting for her heart to be healed. Her entire journey is about the value of the life, in and out of the womb. As a sister who has had very little grief in comparison to hers, I have felt helpless and unqualified to offer her true comfort. She once told me it is sometimes more helpful for me to just sit quietly than to try to console her with words I do not truly understand. I have told her countless times, she is my hero. She is brave, patient, resilient, and incredibly determined. And she's just getting started.
She often says she does not feel like a hero, but I think she should ask her children. Her determination has allowed them to experience life on earth. Who has enough courage to have a special needs child, 2 children close in age, AND adopt a baby? She is an inspiration to many including myself.
So my patient endurance of over 400 miles of training, 250 miles of open road, 80 hours of walking, and over 400,000 steps were dedicated to her. My purpose was to pray for the ending of abortion but my motivation was my memory of a picture of the twins after they were born. Life begins the moment of conception. It is a human. It deserves life. And every life has value.
When I rounded the corner around mile 6, I saw someone waiting up ahead. As I got closer I realized it was her. All the miles and pain I had endured disappeared in a moment as I saw her face. There she was, my last day of pushing through endless miles, cheering me on. I was leading the line so I didn't have time to weep, but a significant part of my journey was complete at that moment.
I love you Jessica. And I'm so glad you are who you are. May we continue fighting together to see the ending of abortion and may our lives on earth echo through the halls of heaven.