Last February my granddaughter, Noa Haroz Taylor, was stillborn just three short weeks before she was due. It was unexpected, unexplainable, devastating and left a huge hole in our lives, particularly for my daughter Emily, her husband Jake and Noa’s sisters Maddie (age 5) and Ellie (age 3). We have been comforted by the incredible kindness and support we have received from so many of you, including the many generous contributions to the Noa Memorial Fund previously established by Emily and Jake.
In particular, our family has been the beneficiary of an amazing bereavement support organization, The Children’s Room (TCR) in Arlington. TCR is a rare and crucial resource for children and families dealing with the deaths of loved family members. TCR has particularly helped Maddie and Ellie cope with the fact that their new baby sister did not come home from the hospital.
Dealing with grief and sadness is a very personal journey. As part of our healing, I have decided to run the 2020 Boston Marathon in memory of Noa and, to do so as part of TCR’s marathon team. This may seem like an odd choice given my age (74), but for those of you who have known me for some time, it will not seem odd at all. I have run many prior Boston Marathons for Children’s Hospital, and in 2014 I ran for the Linzi Foundation in honor of the young Chinese woman killed in the 2013 bombing. In 2014, which marked my 20THmarathon, I thought I had run my last. Apparently, like in other contexts, I am not good at “retiring”.
However, unlike prior runs this one is personal. I never got to hear Noa’s voice or comfort her and I only got to hold her for a brief moment, yet she lives powerfully in my memory. I want to do something unique to my spirit and ability, something commensurate with a grandfather’s and father’s love and gratitude to TCR for the help they have provided to Emily, Jake, Maddie, Ellie and all of us.
Thank you for listening and for your support.