I didn't even understand what we were doing. I barely knew who Terry Fox was. I wondered why we had broken out of our structured kindergarten schedule to take a walk around several city blocks. There were children and teenagers flooding from the gates of the school across the road from Quigley. That was the school my older sister went to, the Adventist school that I would have gone to if they'd had a kindergaren class that year. I searched for Becky in the crowds of students, but never saw her. I wondered who her partner was. Maybe she was too old to need a partner.
By the time we rounded the last corner heading back to our school, my feet were sore. I was tired of walking and just wanted to be back in our familiar kindergarten class with the bookshelf full of puzzles and the playhouse set up like a hospital and the loft filled with comfy cushions and tons books for us to read. But I was also proud. Proud that I had made it the whole way. Proud that I, for the most part, had kept up with my partner. Proud that I had participated in Terry Fox Day.
On Sunday, this year's official Terry Fox Day, thousands of people of all ages, from all walks of life, from all parts of the country, will walk or run because of Terry. Today school children all across Canada took time out of their school day to participate in the Terry Fox Run, just like I did 19 years ago. Today I think of that courageous 21-year-old with only one leg who captivated an entire country. Today I imagine how he felt as he dipped his prothetic leg in the Atlantic Ocean in St. John's, Newfoundland and started his run across the country. Today I wonder if he ever realized the difference his Marathon of Hope made for cancer research. Today I'm proud to be Canadian.