Time Machine

By Laura Edwards


Tomorrow morning, I’ll run the Charlotte 10 Miler in Taylor’s honor. Always afraid I’ll forget something important, I took a few minutes to lay everything out on my bed this afternoon.

Tomorrow is March 23, the fourth day of spring. But the date printed on my race bib is 2/22/2014. ┬áThat’s because a good bit of the 10-mile course is on a greenway, and the greenway flooded in February, forcing organizers to postpone Charlotte’s only 10-mile race.

In any case, I’m around for the redo, and at 7:45 a.m., I’ll set out to improve my time for the third straight year (in 2013, I finished 27th overall with a time of 1:22, two minutes off my PR). I’ll try to do it in the shirt and compression sleeve I wore when I ran 13.1 miles in the dark for my sister at Charlotte’s Thunder Road Half Marathon in November. If it’s raining, I may lace up the shoes that carried me to that memorable finish, though the soles have reached “retired” status.

One funny side effect of the postponement is that I celebrated a birthday in the month that transpired since the original race date, meaning my actual age doesn’t match the age listed in official race records. I smiled when I noticed that small detail today; if anything, it just adds to the whole time machine feel of my first race of 2014.

Taylor's talent showI know a lot of people who’d give their right arm for a time machine. I have a lot of things to love about the present, but I’d be lying if I said I wouldn’t give just about anything if Taylor and I could just be sisters for a single day. She’ll be 16 in August. I should be giving her advice about boys, helping her with homework, cheering for her at games, etc. and inviting her to spend the night with me. When John and I bought our house, I decorated the upstairs guest room for my little sister. She was diagnosed with Batten disease less than five months later, and though we had a few sleepovers in the early days, she developed a fear of sleeping alone because of her declining vision. Taylor’s never spent a single night in that room.

I envy the women who have “good” relationships with their sisters. I know Taylor loves me, and I’d walk through fire for her. But suffice it to say that our sisterhood hasn’t materialized in quite the way I imagined. And these days, I don’t even pine for the “big” things so much anymore – all of the things Taylor deserves that Batten disease stole from her. These days, I’d give anything to have a conversation with my little sister. We’ll never have that again.

Tomorrow morning, it’ll be chilly and possibly wet when I put on my purple duds, lace up my shoes and run a 10-mile race for Taylor. I wish she could be at the finish line when I cross, but I know she can’t. And that’s exactly why I’ll never, ever stop running for her.

4 Comments On “Time Machine

  1. Jan Reply

    Good luck Laura! Thinking of you, Taylor and everyone affected by a rare disease! God bless you…

    1. Member Laura King Edwards Reply

      Thank you so much, Jan! I had a great race, but I couldn’t have done it without Taylor’s strength. She’s with me every step of the way.

  2. Debbie @ Deb Runs Reply

    Congrats on such a great race! It must be so difficult not being able to share your race experiences with Taylor, especially since she is your inspiration.

    So did you place second in your old age group or your new one?

    1. Member Laura King Edwards Reply

      Thanks, Debbie! I so wish that I could share these experiences with my sister, but I cherish every moment we have. My birthday didn’t affect my age group (30-34).

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