Somewhere over the Rainbow

I was gasping through the Seattle Marathon when I saw a friendship that drew tears from my eyes.

*Clears throat*

To be perfectly honest, I didn’t run the full course. My husband and I joined my cousin, the real marathon-runner, at Mile 20 to encourage her.

I saw a fifty-year-old man running barefoot, women chatting to keep their minds off the pain, a father and little son in matching outfits, but then I saw something that grabbed my heart.

No one in their right mind wants a hill on the last leg of a marathon. Cruel and unusual punishment, right? But there on the hill, and I saw a brother/sister team climbing.

She, the supporter, rode a bicycle at a slow pace while he, the runner, followed. She sang, “Somewhere over the rainbow,” and he, choking for breath, finished, “Way up high.” She whisper-sang, “There’s a land that I’ve heard of,” and he strained out, “Once in a lullaby.”

With wet eyes, I caught my husband’s gaze and murmured, “I hope you’d do that for me.” It was a perfect picture of love and help.

The totally badass nature of running a marathon combined with musical lyrics showed how real and personalized this sister’s love was.

When I offer to help people, but I don’t always consider what the best help looks like. Charity feels good, but help is sometimes simpler, quirkier, and less glorious than we imagine it.

Help that comes from the heart can look downright silly, but it’s beautiful…which is why I cry when I see it.

Has a friend helped you in an unusual but totally perfect way? How do you offer help?

About Elise

Elise Stephens began her career in writing at age six, illustrating her own story books and concocting wild adventures. Stephens counts authors Neil Gaiman, C.S. Lewis, and Margaret Atwood among her literary mentors, and has studied under Orson Scott Card. She dreams often of finding new ways to weave timeless truths into her stories. Her novels include Moonlight and Oranges (2011), Forecast (2013), and Guardian of the Gold Breathers (2015), a finalist for the INDIEFAB Book of the Year. She lives in Seattle with her family. Follow her on Twitter @elisestephens and Author Elise Stephens on Facebook.

Leave a Reply