I couldn’t *not* do it

We experienced a big loss in Richmond this week–well, not me personally. Not directly anyway. But it was a loss nonetheless, and one felt by many.

Meg Menzies, a wife and stay-at-home mother of three young kids, was hit by a drunk driver while she was out for her morning run on Monday. And she died.

From what I gather, Meg loved running and she was really good at it. She was a member of Richmond Road Runners Club and even ran the Boston Marathon. She knew how to run and how to do it safely; this seems to have just been a tragic example of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. She just happened be in the path of this man who made a horrible decision that morning that forever changed so many lives.

As a way to honor Meg, people in Richmond pledged to run, walk, cycle, whatever on Saturday, January 18th. The time or distance you logged didn’t matter; just get out an move to celebrate Meg and tag any Tweets, Instagrams, of Facebook posts with #megsmiles–that stands for “Meg’s miles”, but reading it as “Meg smiles” was apparently appropriate as well.

Before the end of the week, tens of thousands of people around the world pledged to run for Meg, and today, just following the hashtag on social media was enough to bring on the ugly cries. There were so many people out there running to honor this woman they never even met, never even heard of until this week.

Everyone had their own reasons for doing it. Mine was that I simply just couldn’t *not*. I didn’t know Meg personally, but I know someone who does. I also couldn’t help but noticed similarities between us the more I learned about her. Both in our early 30s. Both mothers to school-aged kids (well, kid, in my case). Both runners. Both believers in Jesus.

I also know what it’s like to lose someone to a drunk driver. Right before I turned 14, my grandmother (my mom’s mom) was one of several passengers in a van that was hit by a drunk driver. And she died. And we were all forever changed.

So this morning, I ran for Meg. It was cold but beautiful, the sky bluer than we’ve seen around here in a long time–appropriate considering blue was Meg’s favorite color. I ran three miles for her, one for each of her sweet babies. It was the least I could do, really. Because I have no doubt that if it had happened to someone else, Meg would’ve been out there running with the rest of us.

And anyway, I kind of feel like she was.