Sunday, May 20, 2012

Faith without Works is Hypocrisy or My Wife is Super Women

8:10am - Anne in Group Two at the Start of Run for Home Base 2012
Sunday Morning, at 8:10am, Anne McCoy, my wife, started the 9k road race fund raiser called Run to Home Base, 2012. The 9k, put on by Mass General Hospital, the Red Sox Foundation and New Balance, along with many other sponsors and helpers, is run primarily to provide support for soldiers who return from war with TBI ( Traumatic Brain Injury) and to support their families, who are at least as damaged by the injury as their soldier is.

A little back ground.  Anne is 54 years old for this race.  It is her third race.  She runs it to help the families of those injured.  This is because her husband has had TBI for nearly 25 years, and during that whole time, the McCoy's have beat the odds, and she wants to help others beat the odds too.

It is NOT just another race to her. It is working out her faith. In Micah 7:7, Micah says: "But as for me, I will look to the Lord; I will wait for the God of my salvation; my God will hear me." It is hard to explain how living with a family member with TBI changes everything.  The person you married is not longer there, and is replaced by someone else.  In our case, Paul was a physicist.  He now can not add 2 digit numbers in his head, and lives in a world of fear, brought on by the injury, and it's full array of affective disorders.  Anne finds herself in the position of primary care giver for a person who is not the person she married, and is only getting worse.  Add to that a fairly major loss of memory both short and long term, and you get a picture of a spouse under attack.  But she leans on the Lord, and he has heard her.  In return, she is reaching out so others can find peace.  With this injury, it is all about faith, because the reality of the whole thing is hard to fathom.

So, every year she and Paul get up at 2:15am, so they can leave their home to pick up there adult daughter Barbara, and drive to Boston, so she can run in the race.  In order to run in the race, you must raise a minimum of $1000.  Anne and her daughter own a small business in Massachusetts called McCoy's Action Karate, and as you might imagine, in this or any economy, $1000 commitment is large, but such is the nature of her faith and her desire to help.  To say nothing of waking up that early in the morning.

By 5:00am, they have arrived at Riverside MBTA, the first stop on the Greenline, for a 30 minute ride on a train to Fenway park.  Why this early?  Because the organizers want you to check in by 6:30am.  You can see from the picture, she is far more awake than at 3:00am, and still far from awake.

15 minutes after this picture was taken, the train showed up.  On its 12 or so stops before she got off the train, maybe 20 people got on and rode the train.  That is how early it was on a Sunday morning.

Opening Ceremony - 8:15am
From 6:30 to 8:15, you get to walk around Fenway park, read the signs and history, learn about TBI, and wait for the opening speeches.  In our case, 90% of the displays talks about getting help soon, in order to limit the damage.  When Paul was damaged in the mid 80's, few even knew what TBI was, and there was no treatment to speak off.  Constant battles with insurance companies, one of which ended badly in 2007ish.  TBI is not really recognized by anyone, except the person with it, and every once in a while, the families of those with TBI.  So most of this stuff just reminded us that Paul was permanently damaged, and there is no road back.  It is over, and the only hope is that the slide down the hill will be slow.  Not really inspiring. Yet, Barbara and Anne McCoy found material that will help their Karate Instructors help parents prevent injury in their student at karate and at any other sport.  So, though it is an atmosphere of no hope for Paul, it was an atmosphere of Hope for others.  That is how faith works.  You love your neighbor, and you let God take care of you.

Then the race starts, and the picture of that is at the top of this blog.  During the race, which for Anne took 1 hour and 20 minutes, you hear stories of soldiers and family members who have been injured and suffered from TBI, the "invisible wound."  This year, they had a vet from Desert Storm as a Marine, who when he returned home, became a State Police Officer.  When 9/11 shocked the US, he re-enlisted, this time as a member of the US Army Special Forces.  When he returned, his life went down hill, because, as he put it, he did not wish to admit he was wounded with a brain injury.  He was arrested, tried, and Run to Home Base became his salvation and way back to life in the world.  He accepts that he is responsible for his actions, loss of impulse control being one of the most common symptoms of TBI, and urged us to help others with this horrible injury.

Anne Finished at 9:20am
This is a hard thing to hear when you have lived a life that is close to what you are hearing.  It is hard to admit you are injured.  Far easier to accept responsibility for your actions in fact.  Admitting that you can not help yourself is the HARDEST part of TBI, and is one of the biggest reason so many with the injury end up dead or in jail.

Anne runs this race to make a statement that only God helped her, since TBI was unknown when Paul was injured.  Now, she can be the hands and feet of God by reaching out to others, and that is what she did, so far 3 years in a row.

We finished our trip by returning home by 1:30pm Sunday afternoon.  

Let me summarize.  TBI is horrible to live with, but once you have the injury for 20 years, you are not going to get any better.  You only have a few choices.  One,  the most common, is to destroy your marriage and life, perhaps even end your life.  The other is to live with it.  Anne has picked option 3.  She is helping others, out of Love for them and because of the Love the Lord has shown her.  Faith in action.

Why else?  Because Anne, my wife, is a Super Hero.

Oh, and to get this picture ....  Super Hero Anne with another Super Hero,


Did you Know we have a Facebook page where a daily bible verse and at times some awesome help from others is available?  Visit DoesGodServeYou on Facebook.

If you would like to help Anne build her fund for the race she just ran, or for next year, donate here.  Do something.  Love is an action.


1 comment:

  1. The 3 of you are Super Heroes in my book! You ROCK Mrs. McCoy! Thanks running home ....AGAIN! Looking forward to next year ;)