This weekend I went to Florida to hang out with “The Florida Girls”. We had big plans for Sunday. You may remember that my friends 16 year old niece, Katlyn, suffered traumatic brain injury from a car accident on May 20. (You can learn more about it on her website: Katlyn’s Climb) She remains in a semi-concious state and it has been difficult on the family. Today (Sunday) there was a large benefit organized in upstate New York for Kate. It was a climb, to represent Katyln’s climb to recover. Everyone met early this morning and participated in an organized hike on a cool fall day in upstate New York. My friend could not afford to go to NY, so we held our own “climb” in Orlando on Sunday. We walked 4 miles and would throw in some stairs whenever we passed them. As we did this we talked about Kate, we talked about Julie, we laughed and we cried. But best of all, fate intervened and we met an amazing person.
We were trying to get someone to take a picture of us so we can show the family back in NY that we participated as well. After several attempts we found this nice woman named Jill. She took our picture then she asked about our shirts (we were wearing our Katlyn’s climb t-shirts from the benefit we did in early summer). We explained to her that Katlyn was still fighting for her life and we were walking for her recovery in our mini-climb since we couldn’t be with everyone else. We expected her to leave and get back to running but instead she asked if she could do a lap with us, for Kate.
So we walked with Jill and as we chatted we learned several things:
· She runs with some friends who like to say prayers for people as they exercise. They get together, talk about someone who needs a little help and then together they pray. This reminds me SOOO much of another group of incredible ladies I know in Houston. They would often run and pray with Julie. Jill offered to add Katlyn to the prayer group.
· Jill’s running partner (who was not there today) is a 36 year old man who lost his wife to Melanoma shortly after their first child was born. His wife had melanoma and while she was pregnant it spread. He is now a single father.
She left us after one mile to finish the 10 miles she was doing that day. As she left she asked if she could hug Debbie. It was just a really great moment in time. Here was this total stranger with so many parallels in her life that we just happened to run into today. As she left, she said she will pray for Katlyn’s recovery.
Our angel Jill and Debbie
The Florida Girls
The Lake we walked around