Monday, May 02, 2011


Melissa with 2 of their kids, Spencer and Sydney....Holding dad's running shoes ready to run! 
Let me begin this by reflecting a bit..... GO BACK 9 months ago!  Last July I was busy getting things ready for my back home Encore Celebration for our wedding.  Then I received a very sad phone sweet cousin Melissa had unexpectedly lost her husband.  Her husband Steve was cutting a tree limb that had fallen, when his ladder was struck....Melissa had just begun blogging before Steve passed away.  Now her blogs make my heart melt and eyes tear up every time I read.  However, I have learned so much from her by reading each post.  Here you can see her first post after Steve had passed.  Now you have the important back ground info so I can move on to the RUN!!!

Both Steve's family and ours all joined forces this weekend to REMEMBER him; and celebrate his love for  life and well RUNNING! Back in, oh gosh August just after Steve passed we wondered how we could honor Steve's life.  Melissa told us that he had run the OKC Memorial Marathon and planned to do it again.  No more than a month later had the family formed 7 RELAY TEAMS!  Each team was formed and dedicated to Steve's life.  Melissa and her 3 sweet children got to name each team after things Steve enjoyed.  Once the teams were formed all that was left was to RUN, RUN, RUN!

Friday we arrived in Oklahoma City to begin our weekend of fun.  Saturday morning all the team captains joined up for packet pick up.  My sister and Melissa spent countless hours putting this MASSIVE marathon relay together....I was in pure amazement really.  Here we are as we picked up our packets, t-shirts, and a few other goodies.

learning the route and buses
a pic to prove I was there...ha since I was the photo gal

walking to get all of our shirts
Abby, Brian, and Melissa organizing T-shirt pick up
and the SHIRTS....all 25 of them
I thought this pic said it all with Melissa under the words...
Melissa holding her Team Steve sign as we left
Later that evening we ALL joined together for dinner.  When I say all I mean RUNNERS and SPECTATORS.  The amount of LOVE in the room was wonderful as all 60 family members and friends joined for dinner.  Yes, there were 60 of us there to celebrate Steve.  As we had dinner runners and teams receive the final instructions on how Sunday morning would work.  Then I kind of forced everyone to take a group picture...I can be a bit bossy!
Our gang...Little B, Brian, mom, and Aunt Mary
Ems and Sydney (Melissa and Steve's middle daughter)

Can you see the strategy going on here?

Nieces and nephews of Steve 

I'm not the only camera crazy in the group...ha
Sweet Sam, Melissa and Steve's youngest daughter
Steve's side of the family and friends

Sam and Uncle Michael
Abby and Sam
Abby and Aunt Alice
All 60 family and friends joined together!

Sunday's weather was determined for each RUNNER and CHEERLEADER to be miserable.  Freezing cold at 42 degrees with rain the entire time.  Actually our 5th leg runners (the final leg) got to enjoy three different phases of pea sized hail coming down.  Isn't that joyful?  Regardless we had a WONDERFUL time running the race.  Melissa, Sydney, Spencer, and I all ran the 2nd leg of the race.  We had as good of a time as any "non" runners could have. Sydney amazed me in the fact that she truly ran the whole 3 miles!  She was determined to show her daddy she could do it!  As it thundered we knew it was Steve cheering us on.  They were the best running partners ever, I couldn't have imagined a better pair.  Melissa and her team also ran with Steve's running shoe.  Each runner passed it off as they switch legs...then at the end HE was able to cross the finish line along with his family.  The day may have been very COLD, RAINY, and at times unbearable but we did it together and celebrate Steve's passion and love! 
Trash bags on ready for the rain! 

Steve's family and friends with Melissa and the kids...holding his shoes!
Abby and I geared up and ready to go! 
Abby's running pose..ha What else do you do at 6 AM?
See how cute our shirts were....
Spencer (Melissa and Steve's oldest)...falling as he put his pants on with his trash bag on! 
Finally Spencer gets smart and gears up for the cold! 
Trash bag and rain gear shot! 
And they are off....
The sea of people running! 
The area where we had to play "FROGGER" to make it across!
The gang waiting on the shuttle to the first hand off! 
Sydney, Melissa, and Spencer...a great race family pic!  Doing it all for DAD!
Steve's mom and dad cheering us on at the first hand off!  They were so brave to be out in the weather like that! 
The first RUNNERS coming in for the hand off...GO TEAM STEVE!  Now time for me to run, yikes!  


Gouldsmith5 said...

What an amazing post. I truly am in awe about this weekend, there truly are no words to express what I am feeling. There are days that it is still hard to believe that he is gone. His presence was truly felt in Oklahoma City as we ran to remember him. Thanks for being there and for all the love and support!

Bottorff said...

I loved reading through this post about Steve. What a wonderful way to remember him...the shirts were awesome and I love that he crossed the finish line with his shoes as he drummed up in heaven. Beautiful...

Laura said...

Em~ You did an amazing job capturing the essence of the weekend here. Although the weather was indeed unbearable, the love and spirit was AMAZING! Thanks for sharing it here!