A young man, microphone in hand, addressed a crowd of friends and strangers at the Run For Hope. He thanked us for supporting him during times of struggle, thanked us for giving him strength. All I could think of as I stared at my former student, this strong and articulate once boy turned man, is that he was the one who gave me strength. He was the one who inspired us and made us better. He was the one who deserved thanks. All I had done was to show up. What he had done was truly remarkable.
As I looked around at the crowd surrounding the stage where Nick spoke, I was amazed. Children and adults of all ages, colors, and backgrounds, brought together in sadness and in hope by two beautiful communities and one beautiful family. A family that had loved fiercely and lost tragically, a family that showed grace and resilience in times of sickness and struggle, a family that reminds us of the power and beauty of family, friends, and community.
Thank you, Nick, Will, Victoria, and Pat….
For giving us the strength to persevere when faced with adversity;
For reminding us to cherish and treasure our relationships;
For showing us what true courage and resiience look like;
For modeling gratitude, kindness, and selflessness;
For welcoming us into your family.
Victoria and Pat, we miss you and you are in our hearts forever.
Nick and Will, your Echo Horizon family is always here for you, supporting you when you are near and cheering for you when you are far.