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He Ran

October 12, 2010

written in honor of Robert P. Edgerton, December 15, 2009

Pepsi, Canada, ice-cream, popcorn, slalom water-skiing, tool belts, vans, bakeries—these are a few of the images that come to mind when people think of Robert Putnam Edgerton. He was born September 4, 1931, at Allen Hospital in Waterloo, Iowa, and died December 13, 2009.

When I think of Poppa, I think of running. Poppa started running around age 50, eventually completing several marathons each year, in addition to numerous 5Ks, 10Ks and half marathons. He logged all his miles and ran more than the circumference of the earth. He inspired me to literally follow in his steps and during my undergrad college years I began running. Although I never surpassed a 5K, running bonded me with my grandfather. A month before my departure to live in Asia, I joined Poppa for what would be our final jog together.

“I know you’re one of my granddaughters,” he told me several times throughout our saunter, “I just get you all confused.”
I thought I would never see him again, but in May 2008 I found myself at his bedside sobbing. Poppa held my hand for a long time while tears streamed down my face. He had discontinued most verbal communications many months before, but when Grammy told him it was time to release my hand to go to sleep, Poppa gripped tighter.

“He’s still kinda stubborn,” Grammy said.

“You got that right,” Poppa muttered.

Poppa’s stubbornness is what propelled him to the finish line in races, in life, in work, in faith. He followed Jesus to the end of this life. After over three years of being bedridden, Poppa is running again, this time through the streets of heaven.

Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. –Hebrews 12:1-2

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From → Reminiscence

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