When my siblings and I and our cousin were little, we enjoyed a huge backyard at my grandparents house in Oklahoma City. For the first 32 years of my life, that house and those two hearts were the only things that never changed. Birthdays, Christmases, Easters, summer vacations all yielded badminton tournaments, hide-n-go-seek marathons, made up games, trees to be climbed and pallets on the floor. The parentals (Taylor's word) would leave us alone, and we would find absolute bliss.
I saw those memories play in vivid color Saturday night as I watched Wade and our youngest cousin, Douglas, play PIG on my aunt and uncle's basketball court. Wade would rebound the ball and mid-shot Douglas would make a mad dash at Wade throwing his barely four foot body across Wade's thighs in a grand effort to tackle his cousin. Wade would drag him across the cement court and shoot the ball while Douglas hung there, laughing. Later in the pool, Wade mercilessly through Dougie under the water again and again. Doug would beg to breathe and then when Wade relented, Doug would jump right back into the fray.
The sun set and the girl with whom I climbed to the top of the tree in Grandma's back yard and I took our boys inside. Connected by these moments and so many others, my cousin and I are blessed to be family and friends. She and Robert chose to run with "TRW" on their backs in the OKC Memorial Marathon ( the half - but still !) today. The front of their shirts proudly displaying Jill's print - Go Light the World.
It was good to see those words and such strength, such endurance and such determination. Taylor loved these two so.