Winning Smiles

by Steve Ray on June 4, 2006

10Ka.jpgThe alarm rang and we both groaned. It was too early and my cold was still raging in my head, but we remembered WHY the alarm rang, so we jumped out of bed, made some coffee, dressed and were on our way.

We drove through the drizzling rain and with great difficulty found a parking spot in downtown Ann Arbor. We saw the roads blocked ahead and heard people cheering. We rushed to the crowd and saw the first runners crossing the finish line. We put up the umbrella, focused the camera . . . and waited with our eyes peeled — waiting for the familiar faces. Some of our favorite people in the world would soon crest the hill and we wanted to be ready.

10Kb.jpgJesse has been running for about two years now and has lost a lot of weight — he is in great shape (I'm jealous     His wife Anna has had three babies in less than four years and she was running too — an amazing girl.

I knew the kids would be with them, pushed in the jogging tricycle. In that family the kids never get left behind. And running with them was Anna's younger sister Catherine.

They didn't come in 1st, 2nd or even 3rd, but in our minds they were the champs — and with those winning smiles Janet and I say they were the winners.

(Pictures: Anna (light blue T-shirt) & Catherine (white T-shirt with red shorts) pushing Maria Faustina and Samuel Tarcisius toward the finish line; Jesse's back as he races for the finish line dressed in blue; and all of them with winning smiles and glad it is over.)

10Kc.jpgI am very proud of Jesse and Anna. They are an amazing couple with a lovely family. A good friend of mine bumped into Jesse the other day and told me, "Talked briefly with Jesse this morning.  Good man, that,  You raised a fine son.  (Not to ignore your daughters.)"

Well, I may pat myself on the back a little (and Janet's back too) but Jesse is Jesse and he gets the credit for who he is — being sensitive to God and devoted to what is holy, right, and beautiful. I pat HIM on the back.

Emily and I plan to join them in the 10k run next year — Lord willing.

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