Guest post from Leslie Shields:
I was still living in Germany at the time when I heard of Meg's passing through a Virginia friend of mine. I remember instantly hugging my babies and promising myself to try and not take life for granted for one single moment. For the first run event that was created and thousands united from all around the world to run in her honor, I had one of those bibs printed, pinned it to my shirt and ran the Frankfurt trails for her. And every time thereafter!
I knew this year I had to do something amazing for her. Just something I wanted to do...no pressure from anyone. But I found myself praying for her family on my runs and enjoyed envisioning my heavenly friend running with me and helping me push through the sometimes long and difficult training and tough moments in my life. She helped strengthen my relationship with my Heavenly Father. With my children. With my relationships and friendships. With my attitude. With my willingness to help others more often. I felt I had a reason to run more....for someone else! For this sweet person I had never met before but felt a connection with through my love for family and friends, my faith, my love for God, my love for running - even down to having the same favorite color.
So back to doing something big to honor Meg this year. We were due to move back to the States and I had already ran a few half marathons but really had no desire to ever run a full. But...I also knew I could FOR HER! So I bravely clicked the "sign up" button, trained all summer and ran my first marathon in Richmond. It was without a doubt one of the hardest things I've ever done but very much worth it and more rewarding than I ever imagined it being. A few days after the race, I finally drove to her memorial site and hung my shoes with many others. These were the shoes that I wore in Germany when I had started running for Meg in January. So they were a special pair. :)
I have been blessed to be a part of the Meg's Miles group since it began and I'm forever grateful for the love and friendships that have been created because of this one amazing person: Meg!! I will continue to run for her, for her family and for Him! For she has forever changed my life for the better!
Guest post from Stacy Yerger:
I never knew Meg, but when her story crossed my screen it resonated just on the fact that I have three kids and I couldn't imagine the sorrow of not being there with them. All the way through college I was an athlete but once I became a mom it was more difficult for me to keep things up. I would work out sporadically and then stop.
My husband is active duty Navy and just after Meg's death we were waiting for our new set of orders which we thought would send him back to the sands overseas. In a completely odd twist he got sent to a ship, we had to move and a nightmare began. We moved back into a house we had rented out only to find it had been destroyed by the tenants, the movers lost 1/3 of all our belongings (still no sign of them) and the middle school where my boys were attending turned out to be a horrible place. And my husband wasn't here to help, it was just me. Me. And that was a very lonely, scary place to be.
My stress levels were through the roof, I would lay down and just lay there because it was all so big. So I decided to run. For 10 minutes of peace, of not having to deal with movers, or carpet guys, or tenants or my kids or my loneliness. And I just kept doing it. Things are getting better slowly, my husband is having some health issues that have sidelined him and the doctors cannot figure out what is wrong. And he is there and we are here and that's hard. I'm homeschooling my kids, which is great and frustrating all bundled up into one big ball, but hopefully it will just be for this year.
My 14 year old and I are looking for a half to compete in this spring. The kids and I are healthy and we are getting to do some very cool things that wouldn't be possible in regular school, plus I'm getting to really know who they are. So although we had to walk through the fire, the gift we are rewarded with is so much more. And so I run.
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.