8.5 for his 85th

I think the next several months of March are going to be a bit tough — not only was my grandfather born in March, he passed away in March.

Today, just shy of a year of the anniversary of his death, would have been his 85th birthday.

Today I moved my last long run for Shamrock from Saturday and knocked out 8.5 miles as a way to pay tribute to him. I thought a lot about him today, much like I have on many of my runs in the past year.

I've run on the same roads he walked on for years, often thinking about what he might have been thinking about on his walks.

On his birthday, I want to leave you with this poem I found as I was putting together a eulogy for him last year. It sums up well what my grandfather meant to me and my family.

We love and honor you Grandpa With all our hearts…Forever You are a part of our happiness Cherished and respected

Our esteem for you… It grew throughout our lives Your love wasn’t valued for love’s sake alone To us, this love has become your legacy It has transcended the life you lived And has not only filled our hearts with happy memories but also has encouraged us to be better To be more like the type of person you were

A person of love and kindness A true friend Caring and compassionate Loyal beyond words

We love you Grandpa With all our hearts…Forever For supporting us Encouraging us Balancing the truth you spoke With the love you felt So that we were both improved and protected Through your enduring presence And patient, loving example

We respect you Grandpa And we’ll endeavor to honor you Not only through our words But also through our deeds Meekly trying to achieve the measure of the person you were And hoping our attempts will bring you pride and satisfaction From your rightful vantage point in heaven

For we love you Grandpa And we want to honor you Forever