Dom – Happy Birthday my man.  Today would be your 41st, the second one that we are celebrating down here without you.  February 11th just isn’t the same anymore Dom, and I don’t think it ever will be for a lot of us.

I’m sure you guys would have had big plans today, celebrating with Val, Sierra, Nico, your mom, dad, brothers and the rest of the D’Eramo clan.  Valentine’s day just a couple of days away, I know you and your daughter would be getting ready for a pretty special Daddy-Daughter day, just like Landry and I are.

Most of what I am feeling I shared with you on Christmas morning when I got a chance to take a run up to visit with you at the cemetery.  But it seems like every time I think that I’ve made peace with you passing away two Augusts ago, something tugs at the corner of that healing scar and opens up the wound all over again.

A couple of weeks ago during a race up in Dallas I had a pretty average day.  Race-day weather was a factor with winds blowing strong out of the North into our face along the lake, but I still feel like I was holding something back during that race.

I’m not sure how to articulate it, but I feel like I let you down in a way Dom.

I know that none of this stuff is supposed to be easy.  That’s kind of the point in all of it.  But when I put those race flats on with your initials written on the instep of each foot – I owe it to you to leave it all out there.

Race Start - Texas Half 2012

 

No matter how hard things get, I need to go to a place that I don’t venture into very often, down into the deepest of reserves and lay it all on the line.  Race day is supposed to hurt.  It’s that hurt that heals things and brings honor to what you did for all of us.

Crossing the Mat - Texas Half 2012

I need to give my absolute best effort no matter what.  That was the example you provided us with Dom – the gift if you will – that I took away from your battle with cancer.

So today on your Birthday Dom I wanted to apologize to you.  I wasn’t quite the warrior that I know you expect me to be in those situations – and I promise – it won’t happen again.

Next weekend I’ll be racing at The Livestrong Austin Half-Marathon.  A fitting event for some redemption.  I’ll be carrying your name on my shoes once again Dom, and your memory in my heart.  I won’t let you down.

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Comments
  1. Dave Spell says:

    Joe,

    Dom would have been proud of you in the Texas Half and next weekend in Austin. He would be even more proud of your determination and dedication to getting to sub 3:00 in Boston. Also, he would be proud to know that you carry him in your heart everyday and inspire so many other runner’s around the country and world like myself. I have only known you for a short period of time, but I do know that you are very passionate about your family and friends. (Especially Dom) Good luck on your journy and know that time is only a number and that Dom is smiling down from heaven watching his best friend run in his honor.

    Happy Birthday Dom!

    Your friend you nevr met.

    Dave Spell

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