Star Letter

 I don’t know how to say this – oh wait, yes I do – I’m kind of a big deal. Yes, I survived my summer vacation in the States (to be blogged about once I’ve recovered from jetlag. Unless, of course, I forget).

Before I left for the States, I picked up the August issue of Women’s Running UK secretly hoping that there would be something in there about a crazy lady who had signed up for a half-marathon while out of shape and had successfully trained for it in 14 short weeks and created a training plan for me to do the same. No luck there, but there was an amazing article about a woman who had been born with a heart condition and had struggled with any form of exercise for her entire life. When her health took a turn for the worse in her early 30s she was placed on the heart transplant list and eventually received a donor heart. After healing from the surgery, this woman had begun to jog and then run for the first time in her entire life thanks to this new heart and had successfully completed her first race. As y’all know, Terry’s beautiful heart was successfully donated to a woman in her 30s and I found myself shaking as I read this woman’s article thinking ‘this woman has my husband’s heart.’ She doesn’t, come to find out, as her heart was donated while Terry was still alive, but someone like her has his heart. I wept as I thought for the first time about the recipients of each of Terry’s organs and the ways that their lives may have been changed by Terry’s gift. Weeping, I wrote an email to the magazine thanking them for sharing such a beautiful story. Then I hopped on a plane to visit my family for five weeks. 

When I arrived home on Friday there was a lot of mail waiting for me. After sleeping for 14 straight hours, I began to open some of it, including the first issue of my new Women’s Running UK subscription. I was shocked to open to the letters to the editor page and find this:

My letter, that I had completely forgotten about writing at this point, had not only been published in the October issue but had been made star letter! As if that wasn’t awesome enough, check out what the star letter wins:

  

That’s right, I won a new pair of shorts and got published in a magazine. How’s that for a welcome home gift? When I went to the grocery store later that day I checked just to make sure that my letter appeared in all of the copies, and sure enough it does!

I had some concerns about returning to the UK for the first time without Terry (I’ll be honest, this was the source of a lot of tears and anxiety ever since my ticket was booked) but I can safely say that coming home has been easier than anticipated. I’ve REALLY enjoyed running in the cooler temperatures that England has to offer (how does anyone survive running in the American South? This is a mystery to me), have enjoyed cuddling with Ninja as much as he’ll allow, then try to get in one more cuddle and get Ninja-smacked, caught up on television (Educating Cardiff!!!) unpacked, signed up for some Pilates classes through the local council and am now blissfully ignoring the fact that school starts on Tuesday and I haven’t done a thing to prepare. 

If I’m struggling for lesson plans, I could always bring in copies of my Star Letter and have the students discuss what makes it such a great letter. In Spanish. 

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