Guest post from Kelly Clark:
As the facts of Megs terrible tragedy were released, it became more and more unbelievable. Specifics that cannot seem real but something meant for a movie left me astonished. The first detail that gave me any personal insight into Meg was that Scott was a police officer. The picture of their life was quickly painted in the days that followed. We learned of the Cross and Menzies families. Megsmiles Facebook page was created spreading the story around the world reaching hundreds of thousands people. It seemed everyone knew who Meg Cross was and what happened.
This isn't the only story to gain such global attention. Many others have, but most of these are quickly forgotten. Through no marketing or promotion, Megs story continues to grow, reaching more and more every day. A culminating event was November 14-16, the Richmond marathon & half. So many 'Meggers' came together, many of us meeting close friends face to face for the first time. It was an emotional weekend of hugs, tears, laughter, smiles, high five's, jumping, eating, oh, and a little running! I have truly never felt such a huge, tangible feeling of love in a setting such as this.
Since that weekend, I've wondered what makes this movement what it is. What is the tie that keeps us together. There have been tragedies such as this that pull people together. All to often, daily life calls and attention is drawn elsewhere. Megsmiles is the exception. We are still a strong community for almost a year with no sign of slowing down. All of us have wondered why Meg was taken from us. It is a question for which I don't have an answer. I do know that Meg is with us all, we are Meg. She is the glue that keeps all of us together. I honestly believe her endless capacity for love is living in all of us as we share it with each other and everyone in our lives.
A guest post from Tiffany Eisentrout:
I took Chorus when I was in the 8th grade. The teacher that year was new and her name was Mrs. Cross. She is the reason that I began singing and to this day, still do. I discovered my love of it through her. To me (and everyone else that was in her class), Mrs. Cross was the best teacher, EVER. She was kind but firm when she had to be. She laughed right along with us and knew how to cut loose too but could also keep us grounded and focused. Mrs. Cross would have done anything for anyone of us. To say Mrs. Cross was genuine is an understatement. She treated us like one of her own. Truthfully, I think she thought of us as “her kids”.
In that class was Mrs. Cross’ actual daughter, Meg. Meg was always smiling. Her smile was infectious and if you were with her, you were smiling too. I spent the next 5 years of school in chorus or show choir with Meg. There was lots of singing and dancing but there were also lots of laughs. Similar to the running community, those of us that were in it for the long haul formed a close bond. We traveled together and supported each other during shows and competitions. We shared in our collective triumphs and our bumps in the road. After high school, many of us went our separate ways and even lost touch.
Thanks to Facebook, I had reconnected with Meg and was even more thrilled when I realized that we went to the same gym. It was in our boxing class together where we caught up on each other’s lives. Husbands, kids, running and how Meg had worked her way up to a 5 min plank during commercial breaks while watching TV (crazy, right?). It was in January, right before a boxing class, when Amanda and I shared with Meg that we were in fact crazy and had just signed up for the Richmond Marathon. In true Meg fashion, she eagerly said (with a huge smile on her face), that she would love to get together with us and talk about all things training. She was thrilled for us that we were planning for 26.2 in the Fall.
We never did get the chance to sit down with Meg for that talk. After Meg passed, an event was planned and a Facebook group was born that became something bigger than any of us could have ever hoped or imagined it would become. Even though Meg isn’t physically here anymore, her spirit shines through in Meg’s Miles. Every inspirational, gratitude filled, supportive, motivational, struggling, asking for help, smiling, laughing, jumping, faith-filled post is Meg. She brought people together from around the world and they are the most amazing people I have had the pleasure of meeting. Some I have literally met already and there is a bond there that will never be broken. Some I feel like I already know so well just from seeing them on the page.
I often can’t put into words how grateful I am to see the ripple effect that honoring Meg’s memory and continuing her legacy has. I see Tracey , Keith and Scott “clowning” around on threads and my heart is glad that Scott has such wonderful friends and an ever growing support system. When I see Pam posting on the page or commenting, or simply liking posts, I know that she is there to be uplifted, to feel the presence of Meg’s spirit through this movement. On a daily basis, I try so hard to be a better runner, wife, mother, daughter, sister and child of God because of Meg’s inspiration.
I don’t know what the future holds for any of us as individuals or as a group. I do know that there is something happening here and it’s bigger than all of us. If we keep this up and we stay grounded in the purpose of this group, we can change lives, we can put smiles on people’s faces, we can lead people to have faith in something that maybe they never had before or we can encourage them to be stronger in the faith they have now. That to me is what Meg would do if she were still here. That to me is Meg’s legacy.
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.