One Day… and Counting

Just a place to record the life and times of me!

Some bonds are pretty strong…..

on July 28, 2012

A couple of months ago I met a man that I had only heard stories about. Stories about the fact that he was a two time Olympic athlete, 8 time national champion, friend to some, nemesis to others. Upon meeting him, I was initially inclined to say “Nice to meet you, I have heard so much about you” but something held my tongue. I did say the “Nice to meet you” but refrained from the rest for reasons beyond my understanding. As I watched this man for the evening that we were “together” at a National Track and Field meet, I was deeply impressed by the idea that this man was part of something much larger that I had ever imagined.

This man’s name was Pat Porter. He ran at Adams State College at the same time that my husband did and the two of them, like so many of the other men I have met since marrying my hubby, are part of what is now called the Long Green Line. I do not profess to know the first thing about the bond that exists within this group of men, I am merely an outsider looking in… but one thing that I do know is that there is something very tangible that holds these men together… even after so many years have passed. When one of them laughs, they all do… when one is hurting, they all do. And when one of them leaves this earth…. they all suffer a pain I don’t think I will ever understand.

Pat Porter was killed in a plane crash last Thursday morning. I will never forget the look on my husband’s face when he read the text from a teammate telling him the news. He just looked at his phone and said “What?” Then he commenced to finding as many details as he could so that he could tell the next teammate the news. These men will forever be teammates… for life and in death. Except now the team is minus one part. A part that only recently had come back to line….

The interesting thing about the whole situation is that Pat spent the last 20+ years away from the bond of his team… until June of this year. He came to the national meet and began reconnecting with his “brothers”…. I watched as hatchets were buried…. after so much time had passed. Men were laughing and talking… building plans for the future. Only to have that future cut dramatically short.

It was my honor and privelege to watch that scenario unfold… that scenario of forgiveness and reconnection…  and I feel very fortunate that I was able to meet the man and spend the small amount of time in his world witnessing the things that I did.

Death is a very fickle thing…. you never know when it might knock on your door or the door of someone you care about. Take special care to forgive others, say I love you…. and never take life for granted.

It is my belief that the bond of the Long Green Line will transcend death and eventually all of these men will be sitting in some grandstand somewhere talking about the “good old days” and how they made it…. as a  team.

As always, One Day and Counting…..

Paula

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