This afternoon my friend Barbara stopped by to deliver a gift from our friend Jimmie Lynn. These two ladies are part of a unique and talented group of women known as the Art Chicks, an amalgam of artists/creators/quilters/paper cutters/painters/welders/knitters/jewelry makers/potters/writers that meet once a month at our friend Cris' house to discuss the projects we've made based on the word we've chosen for that month. I sadly had to miss this week, and thus Barbara was charged with the task of chasing me down, as JL lives in Landrum.
Cris randomly invited me to this group when I was pregnant with Cameron 6 years ago while I was sitting in the Mug and Muffin; she liked my purple coat, thought I looked like I might be "artsy", and would I like to come to her house the following Monday? Sure. I would. And here I am, 6 years later, a proud member of a group of women I am honored to call my friends.
When I put out the call for donations, they answered with pledges and prayers. And then today, after both she and her baby, Clayton, have generously donated, Jimmie Lynn made me this necklace-an apple with "26.2" stamped on it.
Patrick looks like a bit of a thug modeling this awesome necklace and the photo does not do it justice, but you get the idea. I have several of Jimmie Lynn's pieces-a beautiful blue enameled circle she made me when I had Cameron, a #3 from when I had Patrick, and several more that I've accrued over the years(pictured above). Her work is simple and clean, but with just the right amount of flair. She is a seriously talented landscape architect and metal worker, but more than that, she's kind and generous and one of the most genuine people I've ever met.
You could have knocked me over with a feather when Barbara delivered this necklace; I was so overwhelmed with feeling the support of not only Jimmie Lynn, but all of you.
So on race day I'll wear this necklace to remember...Amanda telling me she wishes she could be there to cheer "Go Kelley! Get it girl!" in her southern accent; Katie telling me to imagine her saying "I'll throw another ten at you if you run another mile"; Caroline wishing she could bring by cabbage leaves; Shannon sending a photo, taken at great risk to her and her daughter, of First Avenue and the Queensboro Bridge from her most recent trip to New York; Tommy always being on the other end of the line to offer encouragement and wisdom; Maddy stepping up to the plate; Joy joining in on the fundraising and still considering a trip to New York despite a crazy month; Elizabeth offering to keep our children; Joe listening to me gripe about how weak and sad my muscles are now but assuring me that I'm still awesome; Laura, Dan, Gerry, Brandon, Amber and Molly all (hopefully!) lining up on the sidelines to cheer, alongside Jimmy and Dottie; Mom and Dad making me who I am and encouraging me and loving me, always; Jay putting up with what I've been told is a somewhat grouchy demeanor lately; Katie and Heather asking me how my training is going though I'm pretty sure they think I'm a nutjob for running so much; Denise and AK for making those long runs tolerable and even fun; Meghan suggesting I write about this experience, and Tobi always saying how much she enjoys reading it; Greg posting this blog on his Facebook page; Ben talking me through the finer points of a tempo run; Laura texting to say good luck and I love you; Barbara saying she'll be thinking of me on the 7th; Kenya's inspiring honesty, Davis' inspiring fortitude; all of you readers, all of you who've donated, all of you who've inquired about the training, who've prayed for me, for Davis, for Kenya.
I'll wear it to remember all of you on race day, and the part you've all played in getting me there. So thanks to Jimmie Lynn for the good luck charm, and thanks to you, again, for helping me make it count.