I was driving my kids home from school the other day and I saw a young girl on the street walking with her mother, holding hands, skipping and carrying a home made sign that in large crayon block letters said "Go Terry Go". It was evident that this young girl, like thousands of other school children that day, had learned about the legacy of Terry Fox.
My six year old son had also finished the Terry Fox Run that day as well and he proudly announced what he had learned , that Terry Fox was "a man with a robot leg who helped lots of people" and that "he died a long time a go". He burned bright in my son's imagination as a new hero to discover, someone who did something so amazing as to warrant not only a class room discussion and video, but a school wide run done in his name.
I momentarily flash back to my own childhood. I remembered that my older sister and her friends flocked with 100's of other folks to go see Terry Fox run by our community during his Marathon of Hope. People screamed and cried when they saw him, as if he was a pop star or a famous actor. But no, he was something better.
Terry Fox permeated my young consciousness as well, though I wasn't old enough to appreciate what he was trying to accomplish at the time. I remember playing with a friend, and upon finding a one legged action figure in my collection, we made him run circles around the front lawn, complete with an improvised theme song that we made to accompany his journey.
So flash forward 27 years and here I am with my own children on a brilliant Fall day, the windows open in the car so I can breath in deeply the crisp and cool air. Just like the low hanging Autumn sun on the horizon, the multi-coloured words "Go Terry Go" written by a child burn brightly in my mind as I drive past, like a sign post that holds so many wonderful associations and points to something that is inherently good and worthy of admiration.
It reminds me that as humans, despite our stupidity, brokenness, and self-centeredness we can shine brightly as well, especially when we let go of our own pain, and run directly into the blazing horizon, blinded but filled with hope.
Thank you Terry!