Friday, January 23, 2009

7 Seconds

Last year this time Brock ran in his first Polar Bear Run.
He didn't even learn to walk until he was 16 months old!
I now see that as a gift from the Lord because we carried him for almost half his life. He started running shortly after walking, and boy was he fast! He was always paces ahead of us everywhere we went. The boys were so excited to register him for the Polar Bear Run at our church. They trained him up and down our hallway for months. Brock was really having fun just running with the big boys. Occasionally they would do the great big brother thing and let him win. He was so excited. Realizing that they would not be able to run the race with him, they worked on teaching him what "ready, set, go" meant. They would say go and not run and he would just stand there and smile at them waiting for them to take off. But the big race day finally came, and he was raring to go. Drew literally had to hold him back from 'false starting' because he was so excited to show off his skills. Remember I said he was training back and forth down the hall. So the one dash across the gym floor didn't seem like enough to him. He clearly had the best start, won the first 80% of the sprint but let up at the end. When he got to me at the finish line, he turned around and ran back to Drew and then back to me again. It was so funny. He was proud of himself. He was Living Hard.

I remember several times during the morning losing track of where he was to see him running off to speak to one of his many friends of all ages. He ran across the floor yelling, "Windsey! Windsey!" trying to get the attention of our sweet friend and babysitter - Lindsey. He then sat and gave lots of love to Rebekah Cottingham. She is a mom friend that he got to know while watching big Brother Asa's football games. He Loved hard.

Because this was such a big event just days before he died last year, we are so excited about the Brockie-Bands. In April I came out of my quiet time one morning and told Drew I had an idea. I thought we should put the words "Live Hard, Love Hard and Run to Jesus" on a wristband for our family to wear, similar to the "Livestrong" bands. These words were the ones Drew used in his eulogy about Brock. We looked into it but never got around to it. It seemed too overwhelming to me to think through getting it done. Mason really liked the idea and kept asking me when we were going to get it done. As time moved on, the Fall came and we came up with the idea that it would be neat to give one to everyone that would run in the Polar Bear Run in January. My college roommate, Ellen, was visiting me the first part of November. She was asking me where I got the title for my blog. I explained and for some reason ended up telling her about the bracelet idea. She got really quiet. I even remember thinking, "Why am I talking about this?" When I finished she said, "How many do you need?" I was overwhelmed, for I had not even thought about she and her husband owning Carolina Corporate Wear. She had a source for getting the bracelets! She said she would take care of it, and she did! God continued to open the doors for us as Mark Cottingham, our Minister in charge of the race, loved the idea. We were able to use a portion of the funds from Brock's Memorial fund to cover the costs. God is so good and into the intimate details of our lives!!

Drew and I composed some words to put with the bands and our sweet friend, Megan Reeder at Ella Bella Photo Cards, created this precious card for us. I wanted to show you the card, but I could not get the words clear enough for you to read, so I am printing them again for you to read:

Let me introduce you to a special little guy. His name is Brock Meadows, and just like you, he was Fast! In fact, he ran his first Polar Bear Run last year.

He was ready! His three older brothers had been training him down our long hallway for weeks. His new velcro shoes were tight. He had been carbo-loading on Mac n Cheese. He knew the rules; run 40 yards across the gym floor to Mama’s arms. He tied for 3rd place…that wasn’t good enough…so he ran back. Then he did it a third time, so much that Mark Cottingham joyfully proclaimed on the loud speaker, “Here he comes again!!”

He lived hard! Brock was a very healthy boy, strong as an ox. Sadly, he died days later during his afternoon nap, just before his 3rd birthday. He put more life into and gave more joy in his 1,060 short days than most men do in a lifetime. We miss him more than mere words can express, but we confidently grieve with the Hope of being with him again.

He loved hard! We learned a lot from Brock: He went at life full speed with a precious smile. He hugged with all he had. He laughed deep-belly laughs. His gusto and love were contagious! He was a bruiser that also liked to stop and rock a while.

When tragedy strikes, and it always does in one form or another, we are left with only two choices – are we going to run away from God? Or are we going to run to God? Brock ran to Him last January and is resting in His arms right now. Let’s now commit to live as Brockie lived –

Live Hard, Love Hard & RUN to Jesus!

So we share our “Brockie-Band” with you. We won’t be offended if you don’t wear it. But we wanted to give it to you anyway…to honor his life and to challenge all of us to faithfully run whatever race is set before us. The Apostle Paul frequently compared the Christian life to ‘running a race.’ Hebrews 12:1-2:

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith.”

For more of Brock’s story and the way God is working through it, we invite you to: Thanks! Drew, Nita, Asa, Mason, & Barrett Meadows

Friends came over and stuffed the card and a Brockie-Band into 2,300 baggies. Then volunteers put them in each of the runner's bags of the Polar Bear Race tomorrow. We were at the volunteer meeting last night, and Drew got to speak a minute on the reason behind the Brockie-Band being in the bags. Our desire is to honor Brock, but most importantly, to turn people to the One that has made our pain bearable. As we were leaving the building, we passed a teenager we did not know with a band on her arm. As I got in the car, I just cried. I had not anticipated the magnitude of seeing someone with a band on their arm for my son. I began to imagine how pleased God must feel as we accept His son, Jesus, and wear His name on our heart. How sweet and how precious!

One last detail, the arm bands are bright green because we matched the color of Brock's favorite pullover jacket that he wore to the Run.

Please join us in praying for the 2,300 runners who will receive the Brockie-Bands.

Finally, I leave you with a precious video we saw for the first time this week. Thank the Lord that my sister in law, Berta, caught it. It is just 7 seconds, but it captures him so well. He is the fourth child from the left. You can see Drew in his yellow hat behind him. When we saw it, Barrett, our 6 year old said, "I wanted to grab Brock right off the screen." We all miss him so much! May the image of him taking off be the one we keep when we think of "Running to Jesus."


MrsL said...

I'm wearing mine---and praying for you all!!!!

Chris said...

I just want to let you know that I ran (ok, ran/walked!) my first 5K today. The Polar Bear 5K. In my goodie bag was the Brockie bracelet. My race partner suggested I check out your blog and as the mother of three small children, I read it with tears streaming down my face.

Oh, you are so strong. You are so eloquent and loving and faithful. You are a true example of what it means to keep coming back to find meaning and comfort in your faith. Thank you for your shining example and for continuing to find a way forward for your family.

I will pray for you and your family tonight as I fall asleep. I know that Brock is at peace in heaven and probably getting supreme joy over watching your family from above. May your family have peace and happiness this year and always.

Rhonda said...

Dear Nita,

I want you to know that I found the bracelet in my race bag when I got home today and I was so touched by your story... not just because I have a 4 year-old son who ran the Polar Bear Run for the first time.... but because my son's name is Brock too. Brock is not a extremely common name - so your story had even more of a personal meaning to me.

I love my Brock dearly - and I couldn't imagine life without him. I admire your strength and courage - I can see your faith in Jesus Christ has carried you through the last year.

We will remember you and your family in our prayers. My Brock has wore his bracelet all day today.... and we will be wearing them next year at the Polar Bear Run too.

God Bless...

Anonymous said...

Thank for you making the brockie band. I usually don't like church things.. and such.. but your blog has really spoken to me. I think i'm going to try to make it to church next sunday. you really have something i want to have.


Julie said...


I've been reading your is really a blessing to me. Prayed for you all this morning that God would hold each of your hands and walk you through this week. I will keep praying that each morning!!! Julie Gallion

Victoria said...

Thank you for sharing all of this ... I could not make it to the Polar Bear Run, but saw a lot of green bracelets on wrists on Sunday!