Posted by: Kimberly Dredger | February 13, 2011

A Valentine for Bob

I had a dream last night about Bob and Lisa Heinle.  This is fact… I really did have the dream.  My dream was of me, talking to a woman who had also been shot when Bob was shot.  Of course, in reality, there wasn’t a woman shot during that incident, except… in a very real sense, it was Lisa.  Her whole life changed that day, as did Bob’s.  

Yesterday was the anniversary of Bob’s death.  I hope he knows how very much he is still thought of, loved and admired.  And I hope he approves of my own little project to honor his memory.  Here is a copy of my first post, which I logged here, just a year ago this week:

Feb. 17, 2010 3:45 am

As I lay awake in bed this morning, I was thinking about the funeral today of a local police officer.   As is true of many Missoulians, I have followed the story since his shooting, and my heart broke for his young widow.

You see, I was also once a young widow.  My first husband died just two years after we were married, and when I read in the obituary this week that this police officer was shot just two years after he and his wife were married, it really struck home.  In my own case, I was driven from Stevensville to Anaconda not knowing if my husband was alive or dead and praying to God that I would be able to take care of my husband for the rest of his life, if only God would keep him here for me.  This couldn’t have been possible, but knowing that this new widow had done exactly that for her husband made me feel a kinship with her.

Lying in bed this morning, I was wanting so much to do SOMETHING, anything, to let the widow know that I mourned with and for her.  But I’m not a friend of the family.  What could I do?   And then I remembered that great photo of two of them crossing the finish line of the Missoula Marathon, raising money for Spinal Cord Injury research.  OK, THAT IS SOMETHING I ALSO CAN DO!  I can put one foot in front of the other, thank God.  And so I can also run or walk the Missoula Marathon to raise money for research.

I am starting out a little late in my training.  Here it is the middle of February, and I am not even a runner.  Not only that, I am over-weight, and I am, well let’s say, of a certain age.  But, if I throw my hat over the fence, I’ll have to climb that fence to retrieve it, and so, here I go, tossing that hat.  Letting the world know that I’m doing this will keep me honest.

So, today I’ll walk to Runners’ Edge, and start the learning process.  And, to keep everyone who cares in touch, I guess I’ll keep very public track of my progress. I take a Great Big gulp and tell you, here are my beginning stats:

Name: Kimberly Dredger
Age: 54
Weight: (oh, do I want everyone to know?) 211 pounds (whew!)
Goal: to finish the Missoula Marathon this summer
Reason: to raise money for the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation

 Here goes!  “Running for Spinal Cord Research” starts today.

Well, that was then, this is now.  Now I am 55 years old, have lost 55 pounds since that first entry, and have completed two marathons, during which I raised more than $5000 for the Christopher Reeve Foundation.  A lot has changed for me, personally, since that day a year ago.

But I still think about Bob when I walk.  And I think about all the other spinal cord injured people I have met since then, many of whom have become good friends of mine.  The Christopher Reeve Foundation is doing marvelous things with the money raised for them.  Research IS finding a cure.  

Happy Valentine’s Day, Bob Heinle.  God bless you and God bless Lisa.  You both are in my heart.

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Responses

  1. Kimberly:
    It seems so much longer than a year that you began your journey to honor Bob–like I have known you forever. At the same time it seems like just yesterday that I posted my first comment on your blog. You have made a huge impact on many you have met along the way, myself included. I am certain both Bob and Lisa feel honored. I always think of Bob and Lisa when I think of you-in that you have succeeded.
    Continue to GO FORWARD my friend and embrace change and challenges. You are and have made a difference in so many folks lives. Include me in those numbers.
    Happy Valentines Day to you as well.
    B~

  2. Bravo! Bob changed your life, didn’t he?


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