Thursday, September 27, 2012

Let's Get Foxy

Its the most wonderful time of the year!

I love fall. I love back to school and all the shiny new school supplies. I love the explosion of colour in nature. I love sunny afternoons and cool evenings. I love sweaters and boots and hand knit mittens. I love fall!

One of my very favourite things about fall in Canada is the Terry Fox run. I remember starting grade one and looking forward to my first Terry Fox run at school. I had spent years being envious of my cousin and the poster she had that held all the participation stickers she had collected for running each year with her classmates; I was finally going to run, I was finally going to have my own collection of stickers!

And run I did. Each year of my elementary school career I collected change, ran and carefully hid my participation sticker away, in the back of my Bible with all the stickers I received for knowing my memory verse. Stickers, The Bible and Terry Fox.

Now, each year I watch the excitement build in my own kids as they plan for the run. Last night, Mischief laid out his 'running clothes' and labelled his water bottle. He scavenged around the house, looking for change and even dipped his hand into his piggy bank.

"It's for the cure," he declared as he dropped his sacred pennies and dimes into a Ziploc bag.

For the cure.

For those who may not be familiar with Terry Fox, he was a young man who had his leg amputated because of a cancerous tumour and less than two years later he decided to run across Canada to raise awareness and money for a cure. That was in 1979, now more than 30 years later each September kids across our country raise money and learn about hope and a real life hero. They learn that you can  impact the world by using what you have, where you are, if only you dream and believe. They learn to have compassion and to put feet to that compassion.

Clearly, Terry Fox did more than raise awareness for cancer research, though; he was a pioneer in finding a cure for something else, too. He addressed a societal woe by just being the person he was created to be. Terry used his athleticism, charisma and competitive spirit to inspire a nation.  Terry called us to look beyond what's happening in our own little world and open our eyes to what is happening in the great big world. And once we see, we must act. Terry started a cure for complacency and self focus and just as he hoped, others have picked up where he left off. Others have continued to run.

I love seeing people look outward and initiate change. I love it when people use this one life to make a difference in their circle of influence. People like Craig KielburgerHannah Taylor and Robb Nash saw a need and followed their hearts, bringing life and change and hope. They are running in Terry's footsteps.

Terry Fox believed in miracles. He believed in community. He believed in cooperation. He believed that if we all came together we could change lives. Terry believed that his message was bigger than himself. He believed that if enough people caught on a real difference could be made. Terry believed in the future. He believed in us.

I love this time of the year and I love Terry Fox!

Even if I don't finish, we need others to continue. It's got to keep going without me!
~Terry Fox

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