I’ve always wondered what it was like to be part of a newspaper story. You know, how does it feel to be part of a disaster, do you really start feeling brave when you are described as such, that kind of thing. Do you notice the moment that you suddenly become newsworthy, is the narrator almost audible as you go from moment to moment. A few years ago I found out, when my sister suddenly changed from being my baby sister, and became atragic mum.
The answer is no. You don’t get a magic wand that starts you being brave. You *are* still a real person, not a black and white caricature with capitalised emotions. A few moments of your life are caught and immortalised, usually inaccurately (am I really a keen runner? I think not) and then you go on, limping a little perhaps, with an odd sister shaped hole in your life, that trips up conversations, and keeps you awake at night, and leaves you with the oddest sensation that there’s something you’ve forgotten or misplaced.
I thought a lot about that today. I had plenty of time to think. 64.56 minutes of running to be precise, as I thudded inelegantly around the centre of Leeds. And all around me were snippets of other ppl’s stories, particularly where ppl wore cards on their backs – running in memory of ‘name’.
I wanted to hear every single story. I wanted to read every card, give to every charity, shake every encouraging cheerful smiling rain-sodden marshall by the hand. (Aside – thank you for the applause. To you volunteers who give up your time, to you spectators come out in the monsoon to cheer the runners on, it makes an amazing difference. You are fantastic.) And instead, all I could do was run, and try really hard not to cry. I didn’t run fast. Not even particularly steadily, not, in the end with my sister – I couldn’t keep up with her. So on my own, around the town, for charity, for Katrin, through the puddles, along the roads, for 10k.
I am so ludicrously proud of myself. Can you tell? I ran farther than I’ve ever run before. My time is very creditable, despite a distinct lack of training over the last two weeks because of illness. But I am even prouder of my dad, who walked his 10k on father’s day, and finished with his daughters around him. I’m afraid I have rather banged on about our fundraising attempts, particularly on twitter and what’s more, I’m not going to stop for a little while yet. That’s because I am very proud of our efforts there, and of every one of our friends and family who have contributed, either financially, or just by sharing a smile online or off, in memory of our sister.
And I know each of you, every single one of you, has some story that you may not have shared, that would break our hearts, make us laugh, make us cry or change us forever. Will you share? I’d love to hear.