Monday, February 6, 2012

Honoring a Fallen Friend

In a couple of days, a news interview is going to air about me running the marathon in bunker gear.  Before that happens, I want to highlight the person whose memory is the catalyst to so much that is going on.

The scholarship that I'm helping to fund is in the name of a dear friend. His name was Leonard A. Reed. He was a police officer with the city of Cedar Park, Texas for several years before he was lost in an unfortunate training accident. His life positively impacted countless others, and a visit to his facebook pages will show you that he was and still is a much loved man. The family he left behind is a testament to the kind of person he was. His wife, Cynthia, was the rock that everyone else leaned on to get through the hard times after his death. His sons are cut from the same cloth. I was lucky enough to run with Cynthia when she was training for her first half marathon. She gives endurance its definition in many forms.

As for the man that gives the scholarship its name, he was smart, patient, good natured, good humored and good hearted.  Someone once became upset with Leonard and snidely asked if he was having a bad day.  He simply smiled and said, "I don't have bad days."

Everyone has a story about Leonard. This is mine:
I'd been having a bad Friday during my first pregnancy, was stuck at home, and was grumping around the house. I'd seen the movie "Friday" the night before, so in my grumpiness, repeated the line: "It's Friday. I ain't got no job, I ain't got sh*t to do!" I heard my husband laughing in the other room. He'd overheard me, and when he went to work that day, repeated the story to Leonard. When the guys came by the house later, Leonard said "Hey Smokey!" and proceeded to try and cheer me up. From then on, it was Craig and Smokey when we ran into each other.

I'm not saying Leonard was perfect. He was human. But he made it his life to make others feel better about themselves. He left a legacy behind of more than public service. He left a legacy of human service.

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