Monday, November 23, 2009


When we ran in the Country Music Marathon last April, one of our friends, Tony Childress, participated by not only running, but pushing a wheelchair the entire route, representing his sister's ongoing battle with cancer. A friend of his wrote the following poem based on Tony's input:


It never was about the race,
But all about her smiling face
And never ‘bout the given prize,
But always ‘bout her plaintive eyes

We first began as though a team
That shared a very special dream,
But Dorothy’s witch spoke up to say,
“You cannot run, you cannot play”

So even though she wasn’t there.
Joella’s spirit rode the chair,
And as it is, each day and night
She showed the way, and led the fight

My plan was just to push the chair
And pray about who wasn’t there
And through the thin and all the thick,
My thoughts would be on her and Nick

But that was not what fate had planned,
In ways that I can’t understand
There never was a time that I
Was in control though I would try

It seemed to me the chair was more
Than even I had bargained for
It never was too hard to roll
It carried me and thrilled my soul

No hill became too steep to climb,
(Though no one envied me my time)
Each mile marker passed right by
As I continued just to try

I thought of course of slowing down,
Or walking in some parts of town,
But when each tempting stretch appeared
The chariot rolled and I just steered

Of course the crowd stood by our side,
Not knowing who had got the ride,
And all they saw was just the chair,
No image of the spirit there

When it was done, no one could see
The fighter who had rode with me.
Not one of them could ever know
The power of our A-I-O….

fyi - A is for Adapt, I is for Improvise and O is for Overcome. Tony wrote a very nice story about his sister and why he participated in the marathon - he has pictures and everything. I'm going to have to get help to transfer his file to this blog - please check back next week.

Joella is still fighting, although the cancer seems to have the upper hand right now. Tony and his brothers are by her side, cherishing every moment with her.

Impressive, touching, real. Cancer warriors continue to march on!

1 comment:

Chris Ulvin said...

Hi Lori,
The human spirit is a joy to come in contact with - thank you for sharing Tony's spirit with us. May God's grace cover and heal Joella. Love, aunt Chris