Jet City Marathon by Mark Stone

November 2012. Dear Karen,

I want to say clearly and directly what I have only said indirectly before: When I run the Seattle Marathon tomorrow, you are my motivation and my inspiration.

Certainly after 10 years of back problems, two surgeries, and being carried out of our house on a stretcher, I thought I had something to prove with my return to running. But anything I needed to prove for myself was proved long ago when I ran the Seattle 15K. My motivation now is something entirely different.

A marathon is one day. Yes, a lot of training and preparation goes into that, but in the end it is one day. Your struggle to find your way to good health is a challenge every day. We have been together almost 12 years now, and I have seen you faithfully meet the test of your personal marathon all that time. When doctors and nurses have ignored your health problems, or implicitly blamed you for them, you have carried on. When the scientific community has failed to provide a clear explanation of the complex of conditions you face, you have carried on. When the prognosis has been at its darkest (thankfully incorrect), you have carried on.

During this time I have seen you show frustration, bitterness, despair, and even just plain grumpiness. But those instances have been rare, and have been the exception. Far more often you have been cheerful, determined, and courageous. You have come so far. Today you are healthier than you have been during all the time I have known you, and you are more in command of your health than ever before. And of course you are more beautiful now than ever. This daily marathon of yours is far from over, but you are winning. Nothing in life makes me more proud than what you have accomplished.

For me, running a marathon is a small token of my admiration for you. My race is one opportunity to share with your struggle in spirit. So I dedicate this race to you. My dear "Jet City woman", you are my inspiration, and I will think of you every step of the way tomorrow.

  • Whenever I'm alone I'm thinking,
  • There's a part missing from my life.
  • Wonder where I'd be without your love
  • Holding me together now

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