Wednesday, November 17, 2010

On Why: Tarheels.

After the expo, I had planned to meet some girlfriends from college for lunch on the Upper West Side near the Museum of Natural History, where Jay was taking the kids. Not that I was trying to win the darn race or anything, but we thought it might be best for me to rest my legs rather than walk around all afternoon. If dining with a group of the smartest, funniest ladies around and (watching them) drink wine was what I absolutely had to do, then so be it. I could live with that. Laura picked Isabella's, which was the perfect place to catch up with four of my beloved UNC girls.

Laura's lived in New York for the past 12 years and knows the city like the local she's become, and the success of both this weekend and Jay's marathon weekend I owe largely in part to her. She guided my family and me in 2008 and Jay and his small traveling carnival successfully to Brooklyn to mile 8 and back to the other marathon viewing points this year. And though I haven't written about it, it's listed in the sidebar of this blog that I'm running for Davis Taylor and also in memory of Mary Claire, Laura's younger sister.

I never knew MC; we didn't overlap at UNC. But I know Laura and her family, and they are remarkable people. When they lost MC suddenly to leukemia in 2008, the way they reflected on her life with such joy and gratitude spoke volumes about the way they live their lives, about what they value. While hundreds of people sat heart-broken and searching for peace in the sanctuary, these three siblings courageously stood in front of all of us, each in turn and in birth order, rejoicing in the spirit of their youngest sister. And anyone who knows this smart, successful, kind family will know that talking-and talking fast- is certainly counted as one of their many gifts. Even as their hearts were irrevocably broken, they showered us with words of love and reminded us of the joy to be found in the celebration of MC's life.

Soon after they started The Mary Claire Satterly Foundation, which "would provide support for charitable organizations and individuals with a focus on finding a cure for leukemia and improving the quality of life for patients and their families. The Foundation would promote Mary Claire's passion for the arts and scholarship in the field of journalism and advertising. And, most important, the Foundation would continue to share Mary Claire's story, her zest for life, her love for others, and her innate goodness."

The third annual gala and silent auction in New York is coming up this weekend and I'm disappointed I can't be there. I know it's an incredible event where not only does MC's spirit shine, but so does the motto of the foundation-"Spirited living, inspired giving."

MC was a Tarheel both by birth and by right of attending UNC, and though I didn't know her, we share the bond of both being members of this fine community. When I looked around the table at Molly, Sandra, Laura, and Ashley, I felt grateful for them, for my time there, for lasting friendships forged out of four intense years that went by too quickly, much like MC's 27 years.

I ran to honor her, her family, her friends, and my friend, her sister, Laura.

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