a shelter in the storm

maybe it was the first storm of winter or the darkening sky where once the sun lay gold on an open palm.  perhaps it was the entire day, hope hanging on thin infusion tubes in the arms of grace or the shattered wife that would not leave the shadow of her husband’s side.

or the one hundredth black cloud stacked like wet cord wood, thunder screaming behind bruised mountains so that finally e v e r y t h i n g spelled ruin.

or the sudden awareness striking like rogue lightening that right now, in this very moment people we love, people we may never know are falling. falling like rain, weeping alone, afraid, exhausted, ready to give up.

for some the physical realm is a white cloud in a perfect sky. for others; we are caged birds hoping to fly.

and even perfect bodies can break with unimaginable emptiness, grief, loneliness, despair. the agonizing face of suffering on any given month, day, endless hour….knows no borders.

there is no scale that announces “her pain is greater than his, this families losses are more heart crushing than that families” for when the scale is tipped…..it is an anguishing landslide into the same unyielding abyss.

we grow up believing in endless summers, round stones that skip across impossibly blue lakes, the smell of rain before it arrives, shelter from the storm.

when loss arrives,  like a long gash in the fabric of wholeness, threads unweave themselves. the beautiful design that once billowed out seamlessly from familiar windows falls in a tangle of stolen purpose.

when suffering arrives it is all consuming until we are seen, answered, comforted, understood. when pain, loss, anxiety, takes us by storm ………we quite simply,

need each other.

when loss comes, when suffering darkens our radiant hearts, when the bright flowers of life fall far from unfulfilled hands, when our souls quake with a thousand fears, in spite of all that life will visit upon us, we still choose what kind of person we will be.

so i ask you, why not separate the blackening clouds. be a stone that whirls across steel blue lakes, trust summer, smell rain, look into the eyes of life with kindness, compassion. be a comfort in word, deed. offer understanding, be an answer. forgive each other.

certainly each one of you is lifting the hearts of countless others. reminding us that we are not alone in our challenges. separating the dark clouds, giving us a taste of summer, offering shelter from the storm.


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3 comments on “a shelter in the storm
  1. matto says:


    This is wonderful, thank you for sharing it with us. Your imagery is powerful and I like that it ends on such an inspiring note. I’m looking forward to reading more of your work.

    -Matt O’Shea

  2. Phil says:

    Rebecca, you give us strength and courage to go beyond what we thought was possible whether its at mile 5, 15 or 25. Knowing that you persist in your daily ‘trek’ on the treadmill; overcoming so much of what Pompe has taken from you inspires us to keep going. Thank you for sharing this with us and the rest of the community. Phil

  3. faraza says:


    Thank you for these lovely words … so evocative! I love the imagery of being smooth round stones skipping across impossibly blue ponds … that will give an extra spring to my step during my runs 🙂 I hope you will share more words like this with us in the coming weeks.

    Our efforts training for the Boston Marathon cannot even begin to approximate your Pompe Marathon. But we hope — in some small way — we are collectively going to “be an answer” for rare disorders through our awareness and fundraising.


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Archive of posts from Marathon runners dedicated to making a positive impact on the lives of people with serious disease.