I thought you were crazy, out of your mind, you might drown insane when you told me.
Looking out across those waters the night before the race, a sickness settled in my stomach. Such an ambitious goal, such open waters for novice swimmer with the determination of a bull shark.
The kids were simply happy to be on the beach, sand between their fingers and toes, on such a gorgeous Huron evening.
And Judah, more like you every day, marched right in freezing water, over his head, clothes soaking right through.
He watches your every move; this brings me great excitement, for I know none more honest, none more intentional, none more valiant for him to model.
These moments, these accomplishments, these demonstrations of your perseverance and strength, they will remember for a lifetime.
Your attentiveness to them, even while running a race they know nothing about.
And I love this one; your face speaks of focus and determination. But I remember the way your fingers wiggled with nerves and adrenaline.
And moments later, you raced for you.
"Go, Daddy! Good job, Daddy!" Belle and Judah shouted from behind the airy fence. Their squeaky encouragements made you smile, and you turned to wave at them.
On the way to the run, your strongest of suites,
High fives of the heart and you were off.
You paced so fast, the kids and I nearly missed your big finish. We were crossing the street from the beach when I saw you coming. "Run, Belle, Run!" I shouted over my shoulder, and Judah on hip, bags on shoulders, we sprinted just ahead of you. Judah thought it was the ride of his life, all giggles and "Woah! Woah! Woah!".
I planted my feet just behind the finish line, dropped kid and bag alike, jerking out camera, lens cap flying. I barely flipped the camera on, and 'SNAP' I caught you just beyond your goal.
Thank you for offering us your strength. For living beyond yourself. For teaching us about life and obedience and perseverance in pain. We love you!