The story of Fellow Flowers began when thirteen women that I knew committed to run a half marathon with me for my birthday. These dear friends crossed a finish line that day wearing orange gerber daises in their hair, but there was someone else who is quite special to me that did the same. My Dad. This part of the story has gone untold. I share it in honor of his birthday.
It read, “I bought new shoes, new running tights, and a dri-fit mock turtleneck. I have printed off my training program. I want to run the first three miles of the training with you and the last thirteen on your birthday weekend at the Cellcom. It’s not about the drinking, it’s about the thinking.” He called us the Tortoise and the Hare.
My Dad has often said that his real birthday is the day he sought sobriety and entered in-patient rehab, which he did in late 2006. While I was on the third floor giving birth to his third grandson, unbeknown to me, my father was staying in the same building seeking treatment for his addiction. It was the hardest and best decision of his life as he has walked away from it and never looked back, beating all statistics of relapse and has been sober for more than 6.5 years.
Watching him cross that finish line is something that I never thought I would witness and I couldn’t have been more proud of his effort. This race was not about me. It was about him and his journey.