|30 squares of memories|
"Maaaaybe." She smirked, while packing up her lunch for the next day.
It was nearly 11:30 p.m. I'd just gotten home from the Caps game and could think of little else but a shower and sleep...that and how quickly the alarm was going to come to go to the gym.
"It's upstairs, isn't it?" I asked with anticipation. "I'll meet you up there."
"No! Wait, wait. I'm coming too."
We ran upstairs like two kids bee-lining it for the Christmas tree. I got up to our bedroom, the dog following close behind, feeding off our eagerness. There it was spread out over our bed: 30 race t-shirts stitched together. Six years of marathons, 5Ks, Turkey Trots, Goblin Gallops, Jingle All the Ways, Ten Milers, t-shirts to cure diseases, t-shirts to raise money, t-shirts in memory of....
In the middle of December, when holiday shopping had reached its peak, Mrs. Onthebusrunning and I were in our bedroom (apparently a theme of this post), and I was crouched over my bureau, shoving, cramming, folding, forcing the bottom drawer closed. Inevitably, one sleeve or hunk would be sticking out, and I'd have to say, "The hell with it," and walk away, "Good enough." Sure I could have thrown them away, washed the car with them, donated them to charity...but these were hard earned, no matter how ugly or unattractive some of them were. I mean, my God, the Marine Corps Marathon shirts are hideous (mustard yellow...really?), but I wear it like a badge of honor. I earned the right to wear this ugly shirt. Sometimes I throw my Army Ten Miler shirt on -- from when I went sub-60 last year -- and just soak in the confidence and speed from it. My Ragnar shirt makes me yearn for sleep just from looking at it. My Vermont shirt brings a smile because it's where I first qualified for Boston.
The point is, each shirt is more than a cheap run off from some local printer. It carries memories. It carries good and bad juju depending on when you first don it (before completing the race=big no no). So I couldn't give them away. But I also couldn't shut my drawers.
My thoughtful (and awesome!) wife decided to get me the Campus Quilt kit for Christmas. Two weeks ago, we pulled all those race shirts out in our guest room, put them in a thoughtful order, and shipped them out.
Yesterday, it arrived.
She spread it across our bed and we marveled at it. Overcome with excitement (and exhaustion), I laid down on the bed and wrapped myself in it. Now, whenever I need some inspiration, to relive a race, or just because I'm cold, I can wrap myself up in those past races.