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Relay for Life

March 28, 2009

I just got home from walking in a Relay for Life fundraising event for the American Cancer Society.  And are my legs sore and tired!

The event was held at Lewis University – my alma mater.  And since I’m President of the Alumni Association, I felt obliged and compelled to participate. 

My father, also named Ed Novick (I’m not a Jr. – we have different middle names), died from cancer this past January and heroically battled several types of cancer throughout his 65 years. He first battled Hodgkins cancer in his late twenties, battled it again, along with prostate cancer in his fifties, and died from a combination of lung and brain cancer this year.  Dad volunteered many hours of service over the years to the American Cancer Society’s CallPack support program and took calls from strangers who were newly diagnosed with cancer to share words of encouragement and hope that they could survive their diagnosis and live full lives.  Dad was my hero, a wonderful father, a compassionate man, and loved by all who knew him.

Dad and I about 5 years ago

Dad and I about 5 years ago

Earlier in the week, I sent an email to friends and family asking that they sponsor me with a pledge to ACS. I’m proud of the fact that my efforts raised over $300 on- and off-line pledges for cancer research. But even more importantly, I’m proud of the generous friends and family that financially supported my efforts.  (Thank you to all who did sponsor me! )  I’m sure their generousity was motivated in large part to their own memories and affection for Dad.

I walked 65 laps around the indoor track – 1 lap for each year of my father’s 65 years of life – about 3 hours of walking in all.  That’s a lot of steps.  Thoughts of Dad, and feelings of his presence, were with me throughout the evening.  

Tonight’s walking reminds me of the poem I wrote in college and recently shared with Dad on his deathbed.  He liked it and was proud of it, asking if he could get credit for it.  I told him of course – after all – his name is on it! 🙂  (Besides, as a father who set a good Christian example and who worked so his child could attend private schools through graduate school, he deserves credit for much of the good that I do.)  We included it on the prayer cards printed up for his wake. 

So many steps forgotten
by Ed Novick

So many steps forgotten
Each with rhythmic ease
The many miles wandered
On carefully cadenced knees.

So simple a maneuver
Presupposed before it’s done.
I know the moves instinctively
And have since I was one.

Since days I began walking
I’ve grown mindless of the task.
And just how many steps I’ve took
I’ve got no one to ask.

Each stride gone to oblivion
But not the places been
Moments between have fleeted by
Again, never to be seen.

The many paths I’ve trampled on,
The many roads I’ve walked.
The many thoughts I’ve thought of
And the friends with whom I’ve talked.

All the times spent going nowhere
On foot, from place to place.
The times pursuing something more
By running in the race.

Each step just takes me closer
To where, I do not know.
But in the end I’ll forget every precious step
And to the Lord, on wings, I’ll go.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Geri O'Boyle permalink
    May 7, 2009 2:59 pm

    Hi Eddie:

    So glad to hear the walk went well for you, sore legs and all. I’m so glad you were able to raise so much money for ACS. I have to agree with you, your dad was a very special person and I will always think of him fondly. I once told your mom that I always saw her & Ed as one person, each living in the other. It was so true. I know she has some hard times ahead, as does the rest of your family, learning to go on without him. But you all have the love and support of hundreds of people behind you and the good Lord ahead of you, so I know you will all come out ahead.

    Had to let you know how touching and prophetic your poem is. I felt the same way when I read it on the prayer cards.

    Good luck in all your future endeavors and if you continue to walk, race or anything for ACS, keep us in mind. We contribute every year.

    Thanks for thinking of me.

    Geri O’Boyle
    CRHP St. Christopher’s
    Team 12


  1. Relaying Thanks « Ed Novick's Blog
  2. Relay Relections | Ed Novick's Blog

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