A guest post from Belinda Fremouw:
A young lady taken from this earthly world too soon. A wife, a mother, a daughter. And an obvious inspiration to everyone that was blessed enough to cross paths with her. A beautiful, gentle smile in a photograph, that is how I know Meg.
As a New England native, Boston is my city. My niece had run the marathon a few years previously and after the events of 2013, I prayed for healing for my city. And then I heard Meg’s story and I was reminded of that moment when I learned my best friend had been robbed of her life by a drunk driver. The similarities were there and my heart broke all over again. But the sorrow in my heart was quickly replaced by hope, by love, and by light. The magic of a true Christian – a light that is not put out by death, but only grows brighter the more people it reaches. That is the magic light of Meg and of the Megsmiles group.
There is so much anger, bitterness, hate, and blame pervading our society. It is hard not to get caught up in it. But the one thing that can repel hate is love. Our group, our Megsmiles family, is about love, acceptance, and an unconditional inspiration. Political parties, skin color, demographics, gender, education, nationality, employment – these things do not define us and they certainly do not divide us and will not divide us. Because we run as one. I have connected with people who are and will be forever friends. They inspire me, connect me, and remind me that there is so much good in this world.
As a new runner, I find myself lifted up by this new family I have, and I think of them when I’m afraid I can’t take another step. And then I cross that finish line and thank God for His angel Meg that He sent to us. And then I wonder, what would our country be like if they were all Megsmilers? We can only pray that our light shines so brightly that we are able to reach the darkest corners of our country and be the change we want to see in the world.
It’s the least we can do in Meg’s honor.
Guest post from Cathy Northington:
I did not know Meg or her family and I can't say I do now. But as a Mother I felt connected. As a person that survived my own personal tragedy I felt connected. I grieved deeply for the family as I had for myself and my family 14 years earlier. Early on when the site was put up some questioned why faith was being brought into it. That it should be about all runners regardless of their religious beliefs. I can't quote what my response was but I felt I had to stand up for Meg because from all I had read she had great and abiding faith. And so I said something to that effect.
I figured Meg would steer it in the right direction and she did. I am not a runner. But I have been inspired to get out there. 2 miles, then 4 and 4 and 5! Felt great except I was wearing converse allstars. I care for my 90 year old Dad here in Richmond and am in the process of shutting down my house in Portsmouth. So the last time I was home I dug out my running shoes. Caring for Dad I don't get the chance to get out much but next time I will be ready. Thanks for getting me out there!
To Scott and family, know that I am thinking of you and praying for you. Thank you for allowing me to be part of the Megsmiles family.
Guest post from Kelly Anderson:
I have never in my life been a runner. Not as a child, not as a teenager, and not as a young adult. I suffer from reactive airways disease, and before that, I suffered from "Ican'tdothis-itis", a dreadful condition of the mind. I tried the Couch to 5K app 3 times and never made it past the first week.
However, in July of last year, I decided to train for my town's 5K race. My son is a runner. He runs track and cross country for his middle school. I wanted to connect with him in a new way so I decided to give it a shot. I trained and completed the race in just under 40 minutes. Tears of joy and disbelief ran down my face as I crossed the finish line. I couldn't believe it - I had run a 5K!
I kept running through the fall, but found I wasn't quite as motivated without a goal in sight. Then, it was January 13, and I was reading a story about a woman from my hometown who was killed while running. I've always had a particularly hard time hearing about the untimely passing of a mother. It just took me to my knees. Like tens of thousands of others, I ran for Meg on January 18, and all I could think about was Meg, whom I never met, and how I was reading countless posts about what an amazing woman she was. Before I knew it, I was mentally committing to running a half marathon in her honor.
In May of this year, I completed my first half in Brooklyn, NY. It was one of the most incredible experiences I've ever had. Not only because I accomplished something that I NEVER thought was even interesting to me, let alone possible, but because I ran for Meg. I ran for her and all the amazing people whom I've "met" as a part of this support group. The level of support here is truly a gift from God. It has made me keep going at times when I was ready to give up. It has given all of us an opportunity to lift others up when they need it.
On November 15, I ran the half marathon in Richmond. I ran it with a high school friend whom I hadn't seen since high school. We spent 13.1 miles catching up on life for the past 26 years. And we both ran for Meg. We cheered when we saw other Meggers running or cheering us on. I will continue to run, because honestly now, I'm totally and hopelessly addicted to it, but also because I want to continue to honor Meg and the type of person she was. I am so thankful for Meg and for the blessings of this group, who support each other every day.
Has your life been impacted by the death of Meg Menzies. Please share your story.
Since January, thousands of lives have been impacted by the death of Meg Menzies. Many of us have been overwhelmed with sadness. But many of us have also found love and hope and encouragement at a time we needed it most. As we've learned more about who Meg was and accepted the call to share her legacy with the world, the stories of our lives have been forever changed. And we've seen lives around us change.
If your life has been impacted by Meg's death, I invite you to share your story at the link below. It's my hope our stories will bring comfort and maybe an occasional smile to the Menzies and Cross families who greatly miss Meg, especially so over this holiday season.
Submit your story here.