Reed’s Run – 30 days to go
I have never felt the need to do this before, but somehow as the reality that the end is coming soon, I suddenly have a desire to share the “behind the scenes” decisions and reasons for what we do. I ask that you as you read these posts that you share them if you feel led to do so.
How did this run come about in the first place? In the wee hours following Reed’s death, a dear friend (who is coming from California to this year’s run) planted the idea that we needed to start a scholarship because Reed LOVED to learn. We adored the idea, but had no idea how we would fund the thing. Additionally, we didn’t want to give a small scholarship – we wanted ONE that would make a significant impact in the lives of students. With that in mind, how in the world were we going to do this?
Throughout this part of our journey, we received cards and letters of support and encouragement from everywhere. One day, we received one, from another now friend who has walked in our shoes (who will also be at Reed’s Run), that told of the run they do for their son. We saw their website and were encouraged, but run – seriously – Reed was emphatically NOT a runner. Golf tournament – art show – Star Wars movie marathon: all seemed more our boy’s style.
About this same a few sweet boys in Reed’s class and on his football team shared stories that our redhead NEVER told us. I realize we were just beginning our grief journey, and any story was like precious jewels. But these stories opened up our eyes to just how much Reed never tooted his own horn. Apparently during football conditioning, Reed encouraged others when they thought they had nothing left to give. One story told of how they were laying on the ground doing leg lifts. The boy next to Reed was about to give up. Reed told him, “This is going to make us better. You can do it.” The boy shared that gave him just enough to keep going. The second story became the inspiration behind Reed’s Run.
In all honesty, Reed was still in the “husky” stage of life. If you have boys or men in your life, they know which jeans section I am talking about. So for 12 years old, he hadn’t outgrown that stage yet. Additionally, he wasn’t the quickest or best runner by far. The boys told us of how Reed would run his required laps, but here is where the story gets interesting. Instead of quitting, he would cut across the field and run alongside the boys who were behind him (I am guessing there weren’t many). He would run the rest of their required time with them, encouraging them, telling them he wasn’t going to leave them behind. INCREDULOUS – a kid who didn’t enjoy running – did THAT! That kid was MY boy!
We confirmed the story with the coaches, who added that it caught on and that others started doing it too. We knew then how we were going to raise funds for his scholarship. Last night I saw a video that caused me to sob. I am including the link below. I never got to witness Reed’s “Run”, but I have to imagine in a small way it was like this.
Even though we never thought Reed’s Run would become as big as it has, we are glad that we get to share that small piece of our boy with everyone. The world always needs friends who run along side. Thank you to all the people who continue to do that for us and who give of their time, money, donations, love and support to make this dream (Reed’s Run) a reality.
Please note: We have amazing admiration for the tenacity and spirit of Matt Woodrum and all that he has taught his community, and now, the world. Apparently, God has placed young men (and women) all over the world to teach us a lot about ourselves. Thank you Matt for teaching more about what you CAN DO than what the world tells us you can’t. Since Reed’s death, I have learned that, indeed, God can use young men to change the world.