“It is said that true immortality is within the hearts of those who remember us.”
Mark’s annual race is coming up on July 10th.
‘The Shack Attack 5k’ community has waxed and waned over these four years, but this yearly gathering of those who were affected by a single person is indeed a testament to the words written above.
I never knew anyone who seemed to know as many people as Mark did. We couldn’t go anywhere, especially in downtown
Albany, without random “Shack!” shout-outs. His memorial Life Celebration drew old music scene friends, co-workers from across his varied career, people who remembered a kindness he had done them, some who met him from cancer, and then those of us who loved him. Many of these same people have come to the race each year. And there are people who only met him through the re-telling of his wonderful life, or those who like running for a good cause on a sunny morning.
I have continued to draw strength from knowing that Mark impacted individual lives acrossa wide spectrum of intimates and acquaintances. Yet the race also opens up the old wound just a little bit. When the last car has pulled away and I am finally alone, I let my emotional guard down for as long as I need.
And then I move on again.
Someone wise once wrote me that “We should seek the greatest value of our action,” which is precisely why The Shack Attack endures. It is of value to those whose lives are touched by cancer in order to fund The Clubhouse free programs. It is of value because of the example it provides that each of us can do something we never tried before, like lace up a pair of running shoes and cross a finish line.
It is of value because so was Mark.