Saturday, February 18, 2012

What Really Happened to Sherry

Another tough post to write…

After last week’s extradition hearing, you may have read in the news today what happened to Sherry in greater detail.  The information is devastating.

Let me get it out. I hate them. HATE. I hate that evil exists and that horrendous, unimaginable, unconscionable things happen. I can be angry right now, that is fine. I will not stay there because they have already taken too much from my family, from the Sidney community, and from the world. They will not take my sense of well being and peace.

There is no way to sugar coat what happened or to make it less tragic, sad, and horrific. These men are evil, low-life, scum. I have tried very hard throughout this whole thing to not give attention to them, but to focus instead on what is good and right about people and about the world.

Here’s what I know:

As humans, we have a unique and difficult challenge. We are given the awareness and understanding that bad things happen to good people. That people get sick and die. That there is suffering. That there is endless and abounding uncertainty every minute of everyday.

We all know that Sherry was a cancer survivor. At one time maybe she thought she would die from cancer. I am willing to bet she never thought her life would end on January 7, 2012, when she went for her morning run.

You see, we just never know.

If we exist in a place of fear and anxiety about what is coming, then we are not living, we are paralyzed. Our challenge is to know what we know about the ways of the world, and to still live fully and fearlessly.

I’m not talking about taking everyday precautions like running with a group and not going out in the dark. That’s all fine, good and advisable. I’m talking about the bigger fearlessness with which we must approach life, knowing that it can be taken from us at any minute. Knowing that someone close to us might suffer and/or die. Knowing that today might be our last day.

Our unique challenge is to know about the “bad” stuff and to forge on anyway without breaking down into a puddle of anxiety and worry. We’ve got this one life and we can’t waste it away hiding, being scared, not living.

Being safe is important. We wear seatbelts. We wear Road IDs. We tell people where we are going. We take self defense classes. We park under large street lights at night. We tell our kids to not talk to strangers. We make sure there are batteries in our smoke detectors. We need to do those things and to teach our children to do those things. This is responsible, sensible behavior.

Sherry was not being unsafe. She was running in her home town where she knew everyone, where no one locked their doors. What happened to her was so random, it was as random being struck by lightening. She was truly in the wrong place at the wrong time. If it was not her, it would have unfortunately been someone else.

Tens of thousands of you came out to run for Sherry last Saturday from all corners of the world. There were millions of prayers said in her name. Over $9,000 was donated to her children. Many of you reported “signs” of Sherry while you ran - beams of sunlight breaking through the clouds and snow showers in places where it never snows. The score is tens of thousands to two.

There is no way to “make sense” of what happened, yet we all joined hands on February 11 in the spirit of love, compassion and unity.

bibforsherry

The loss of Sherry is monumental and leaves an aching void for so many. Comfort can be found in knowing she’s with us still – because the heart doesn’t forget. I truly believe she’s somehow nudging us to not be sad, to forge ahead. To laugh, to play, to remember. Every time I run, probably forever, she’ll be with me.

This is what I choose to take away from all of this:  Love wins.

SUAR

66 comments:

  1. I almost didn't read this because I hate to replace the good feeling I got from last Saturday with hearing/reading the facts about what happened.

    This truly is a reminder to live life with a ferocity and to leave this world exhausted.

    Be well.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Love wins. Thank you Beth. Thank you for telling her story. As hard as it is for me to read this, it is a story that needs to be told. Her story will live with all of us forever. So sad that such evil is in the world...that there are some really really really awful, evil and disgusting scum living on this earth. But in the end...love does win and I pray that I can continue to live without anxiety and fear but to live with hope and love and a vision of being part of making life beautiful and lovely for all that I come into contact with. And God, I pray with all my heart and soul that my children will always be innocent and free and protected with love. I can't even imagine the pain and anger you must feel knowing that someone close to you had to suffer from such evil. Thank you for telling her story and letting your voice be heard for us all to learn from. Love to you Beth.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Oh Beth, my heart is breaking for you all over again. I really don't know what to say other than to remind you that you ALL are in our thoughts and prayers. I actually thought about Sherry a great deal today on my gorgeous 6-miler and then came home to see this.

    *hugs*

    ReplyDelete
  4. i hope that some day it will help that the people who did this to Sherry have been caught and that you and the rest of sherry's family will know she will never be forgotten.

    ReplyDelete
  5. You are so right that we don't know the time or place our time will be up. We need to live life to the fullest so when it's all over we don't wonder what life would have been like if we gotten off our safe couch. Love the saying "love wins". Sending peaceful vibes and prayers to you and your family Beth.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Thank you for telling Sherry's story. Tears streamed from eyes as I read your post. The fact that your family has had evil thrown in your faces, and you can still focus your post on what is good about people in this world is remarkable. Thanks for being so inspiring! My thoughts and prayers are with your family.And yes, LOVE WINS!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Beautifully written. Love does indeed win. Love and prayers to you.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I just got a pit in my stomach reading the AP article. Pure evil. So senseless. So wrong. I just keep shaking my head. I'm so sorry your family has to go through this. I know all of us who participated in Sherry's Run still carry that day with us and probably will for a long time. You are correct: Love wins.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Beautifully written!

    Thanks for writing this.............

    ReplyDelete
  10. I read it last night - truly made me sick. Just foul, horrible people who abused their bodies and minds for thrills and went out to do worse to another soul.

    But the world is overflowing with wonderful people.

    Yes, ma'am, love ALWAYS wins.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Love wins.
    I ran outside again and thought about her (always either a mile after I started or at 6 a.m.)
    She would see and hear black birds and a family of deer darting into the woods. And of course, the 10 beer cans I found when I was running along the highway.

    ReplyDelete
  12. :( Thank you for sharing such difficult news. Much love and *hugs* to you.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Love DOES win. Wonderful post. Continued prayers for Sherry's family.

    ReplyDelete
  14. I'm so sorry again for all you have had to go through, That was very Beautifully writen, My heart goes out to you all, Hugs to you!!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Love DOES win, Beth! We all made it win! And we will all run with Sherry in our hearts from now on. Thank you for sharing, I hadn't read the news story. I am just sick knowing how evil those two men are. I won't forget to cherish every day, because you don't ever know when it will be your last.

    ReplyDelete
  16. wow, life is so precious and short. we must all pay our respects and show our support for fellow runners.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Just reading the AP story made my stomach turn.

    Sorry doesn't seem to even come close to how I feel for you and your family.

    Sherry will always be loved and remembered. For me, at least, I will continue to dedicate runs to her and her memory - what about a yearly run in her memory?

    Love will always trump evil, so long as there are people like you and your family around to remind us.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Love does win in the end. Sorry for your pain & loss, so glad you are able to see things with this perspective though.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Very beautifully written and well worth remembering. Be fearless. Love wins.

    Thank You.

    ReplyDelete
  20. God bless you for having the strength to write this. We all agree....Love Wins!! <3

    ReplyDelete
  21. That was hard to read...I hadn't heard what exactly had happened. It's weird....not that it would make any difference how she died, its awful no matter what, but, maybe its a little comforting knowing she didn't suffer long. She quickly went to be with her Lord ...safe in his arms~ his house.

    Prayers and time...

    ReplyDelete
  22. It's so senseless, what a couple losers those two were....what a string of loserness they both possessed. If there is one thing I'm grateful for, I'm glad she didn't suffer for a long time in the hands of those two evil people.

    Love does will!

    ((hugs))

    ReplyDelete
  23. Love, smiles and hugs to you and yours, Beth. I find it amazingly inspiring that you are able to find and divulge in the good in mankind after all this.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Thank you for this reminder. Life is precious and it sounds as if Sherry knew this. Will continue to pray for strength and peace for her family.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Love will win...it MUST win!

    Thank you greatly for sharing her life with us!

    ReplyDelete
  26. You are so right-Love does win. What a tragic story, yet you are taking this like a hero. Keep Strong! Live vibrantly!

    ReplyDelete
  27. What a great insight to leave us with. I agree with previous comments- beautifully written. I hope you and your family will find peace with this..

    ReplyDelete
  28. i never understand these random criminal acts. they anger me to know end. why? why can't they just leave the good people alone.

    their judgment day will come. love *will* prevail.

    ReplyDelete
  29. This is beyond heartbreaking. I really don't know what to say. You all continue to be in my thoughts and prayers.

    Love does win.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Thank you for sharing. Love will always triumph. God bless.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Speechless... sadness, anger and confusion. Time and God's mercy will heal.

    ReplyDelete
  32. Thank you for writing this post. I know it wasn't easy. But what you said needs to be said. And we need to be reminded. Much love to you and your family.

    ReplyDelete
  33. You are one strong woman to share something like this. *hugs*

    ReplyDelete
  34. Ugh. So sorry. What a senseless tragedy. Makes me want to hug my kids, and treasure each day.

    ReplyDelete
  35. Love does win. thank you for continuing to share.

    ReplyDelete
  36. Too devastating to completely process. I was sick last weekend and didn't get to run the way I had intended for Sherry. Tomorrow I'm running a 1/2 in Hampton NH and I'm going to wear Sherry's bib on my back and take her for a run along the NH Seacoast....

    ReplyDelete
  37. This is so heartbreaking, but just like we wear seatbelts and look both ways before crossing the street, I know we will all take precautions when running by ourselves now. My heart hurts everytime I think of Sherry, and my tears flowed reading your story today. Thank you for sharing your love and pain.

    ReplyDelete
  38. Oh, Beth. I am so sorry once again! Thank you so much for making a joyful noise and bringing us all together on this. I did my run for Sherri today as I was sick last week. My thoughts were with HER and not those evil men. You have succeeded in honoring her!

    ReplyDelete
  39. A sad reminder that there are people that are not even as noble as lowly pond scum.

    If there is such a thing as Evil, they have become such.

    Sad for Sherry, and yes, them, and that we don't seem any closer to figuring out how to stop such terrible people.

    ReplyDelete
  40. Powerful post. So sad, yet amazingly uplifting. Live with a fierceness and knowingness that you never know. My heart is so alive with Sherry and I never met her. Immeasurably much to 2!

    ReplyDelete
  41. Love does indeed win. Very moving and powerful post. All the more glad to have been a part of last weekend.

    ReplyDelete
  42. I read the news article you linked to and as horrible as it was to read, I did find one positive thing:

    "Aggravated kidnapping carries a potential death penalty in Montana unless the victim is released unharmed."

    I know there are lots of people that are anti-death penalty. But in this case, I'm FOR IT! We don't need scum like that on this Earth. Specially since they have "priors". These are obviously people that have no idea of how to function in this society.

    ReplyDelete
  43. Hi Beth -

    I am not a runner and I came across your site several weeks ago through "People I Want to Punch . . ." I can't tell you how much I've enjoyed reading your about your adventures and experiences. The news about Sherry hit me a lot harder than I would expect being that I do not know you or her personally, but that is what an amazing blog can do. It can bring strangers closer together and feel like you are old friends. My heart aches more than ever after reading the news article and I pray for you and the rest of Sherry's friends and family to find peace and comfort. Your strength and drive to stay positive is so encouraging. Thank you for opening your lives to us and for sharing your stories, thoughts and feelings so openly. You have inspired me to dust off my sneakers and take those first steps to learn how to run.

    ReplyDelete
  44. Jim Dog: Yes. Had those exact same thoughts. I am all for it in this case.

    ReplyDelete
  45. You are a gifted writer Beth and use your words to spread the joy of what Sherry meant to her family and community.

    You're completely right. That act of violence was completely random. These people disgust me. But, ultimately LOVE WINS and Sherry's legacy lives on.

    Still thinking of you and your family, daily.

    ReplyDelete
  46. Really taking to heart the message you are passing on to us from this tragedy. Love does indeed win. My thoughts are with you and all touched by this.

    ReplyDelete
  47. I'm not sure if I have ever commented but I'm a longtime reader. I wanted to tell you that I saw one of Sherry's bibs on the back of a runner in a half marathon this morning in NH. I thought of her for a large part of the race and how I didn't know her but was sure, as a fellow runner she would have loved running by the ocean on a cool but sunny day. I guess there's no real point to this comment but I wanted to let you know that at least 2 people were thinking of Sherry this morning. :)

    ReplyDelete
  48. Wonderful message. May love continue to win.

    Hugs.

    ReplyDelete
  49. Beautiful words and such courage and love in the face of something so terrible.

    ReplyDelete
  50. The more of us are out there running without fears, the safer we will be, and yes, I believe very strongly that love wins all the time.
    Hugs to you.

    ReplyDelete
  51. It's a odd thing to suffer the loss of a loved one. I daddy died long before he was an old gray man and I often feel cheated. But I have come to learn through that experience that it is an odd bit of happiness when you feel that saddeness grow "fresh" again. It reminds me that my daddy, and all those who have passed before me, are not gone. Those triggers of saddness as shorter lived these days because I quick see them as what they are. I see them as touchs from my loved ones. It's them reaching out to me and for a brief moment their touch makes my heart long for them. But that longing is quickly filled with love. The love I still feel for them. And I know that they are still feeling for me. Until we are together again.
    I pray that you can come to see and feel it this way.
    Love does indeed win!

    ReplyDelete
  52. agh, I don't know what to say.

    I just want it to make sense and it never will. and that's what's so hard.

    so i will be another voice for the love and light that does prevail.

    love to you and your family

    ReplyDelete
  53. Love does win. Very well written, thank you for sharing your experience.

    ReplyDelete
  54. A friend and I ran for her on Saturday 18 Feb, couple of people asked about the bibs, we were able to share her story.

    Never forget!
    Brian

    ReplyDelete
  55. Nothing can take the beauty away from February 11th. I know Sherry smiled down at the world as we all ran for her. Love does win.

    ReplyDelete
  56. God Bless You Beth! Love indeed does win.

    ReplyDelete
  57. The article and your beautifully written post made me cry when I read it yesterday. Tonight, I read this verse from the Bible: "Don’t let evil conquer you, but conquer evil by doing good." Romans 12:21 The run you organized for her did a world of good, Beth.

    ReplyDelete
  58. It pains me that Sherry's friend and family had to learn that this is what happened to her. There are, unfortunately, terrible people in this world. I hope they are punished properly, though it will never be enough.

    Let's just make sure love keeps winning. We WILL ensure that the good lives on after all of this.

    ReplyDelete
  59. This post is beyond beautiful.

    I am so sad to learn more details about Sherry's death. My thoughts are with you and her family and town.

    She will be remembered as a beautiful person, I know this.

    ReplyDelete
  60. We have never met. Sherry is/was my stepmom. I so very much appreciate and love all you (and everyone else) has done for her and her family. Love does win because God is love. Love will conquer all in the end. Thank you, thank you, thank you for your spirit, energy, and love.

    ReplyDelete

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.