BENEFITING: The Children's Room
ORGANIZER: The Children's Room
EVENT: 2013 Boston Marathon
EVENT DATE: Apr 15, 2013
On my first day of college at the University of New Hampshire, like all the freshmen around me, my mom and dad helped move my belongings into the dorms and figure out where orientation began. When it was time for them to leave, we hugged and said our goodbyes without much fanfare. While it wasn’t obvious at the time, I know these moments must have been difficult for my dad. At this same college, even in these same buildings, he had said goodbye to his parents thirty-two years earlier. But it was the last time he saw them, as they were both killed in a car accident on their way home.
I start with this memory because it encompasses for me why The Children’s Room is so important, and how it’s made such a huge impact on my family’s life. My dad is one of seven children, and they are all pretty quiet about this period in their lives, and emotions in general. When I was twelve years old, after only hearing tidbits and short conversations about how my grandparents passed away, we also lost my Aunt Sue, my dad’s sister, at a young age. I’ll never forget the time we spent together and the relationship we had; I still think about her often. But as a family, we rarely talked about or dealt with these tragedies. All of this has had a startling effect on my life, which I’m only now beginning to see, almost twenty years later as I’m having children of my own.
My family never really dealt directly with losing my dad’s parents and his sister until a few years ago, when my dad discovered The Children’s Room. At The Children’s Room, families who have experienced a death are able to come together to support one another and know that they’re not alone. But the support extends beyond the families that visit TCR’s warm and welcoming house for their groups, impacting all of the nearly 100 program volunteers – including my dad – that make these groups possible. TCR is constantly hearing from its volunteers how supported they feel in their volunteer work, and that the connections they make there are a meaningful part of their own healing process.
I want to run the Boston Marathon because I want to help promote what The Children’s Room represents not only to grieving families, but to the people who grieve with them. I never met my dad’s parents, but now that my dad is a Program Volunteer and Aunt Nancy is the Development Director for The Children’s Room, we’re talking about them more. Where I grew up not wanting to or being capable of talking about death and loss, now my family is starting to approach and deal with these issues head on – thanks to the impact TCR has had on our lives.
Running has been an emotional outlet in my life, something I do most every day, and training for the Boston Marathon is a dream. The coincidence of this is not lost on me, now that I’ll be running for The Children’s Room. I want to honor my Aunt Sue and my grandparents’ memory in some meaningful way, and I can think of no better way than to promote The Children’s Room and the work they do for grieving families. Please join me in my fundraising efforts for this group, so that families like mine don’t have to take a lifetime to begin dealing with the ones they’ve lost along the way.
To make a secure donation to my fundraising page, click the donation button on the top right of this page. You may also send checks to The Children’s Room at 1210 Massachusetts Ave., Arlington, MA 02476. Please make your check out to "The Children's Room" and write “Marathon/Brandon” in the memo line so that your gift will count towards my goal.