Story behind “in logan’s shoes”

logancareytown10k
Logan just before one of his many races

Logan was a runner, logging thousands of miles in his shoes, enough miles to cross the U.S. at least a few times. He wore his shoes down to the bare threads before retiring them for a new pair with fresh treads. Logan was like a race car going through tires.  He loved the freedom of the run.

Transitioning to the other dimension

Everything changed the early morning hours of July 22, 2016 when Logan was driving back home.  From what the police can tell, Logan was speeding and possibly distracted after putting his cell phone down.  He crashed his green Toyota pick-up truck head-on into a tree, just inches away from a trail he ran practically every day.  Logan was less than a half-mile away from home, to never see it again.

Six hours after the crash, Logan died at the VCU Medical Center in Richmond.  He was broken from the inside out.

I brought Logan into this world via emergency c-section on Jan. 8, 1997. Nineteen years later, I held on to him as he transitioned to the next life (Logan referred to Heaven as the other dimension).

I am nearly seven months into my grief journey trying to figure out how to deal with the desperate sadness of losing my only child.

Logan is here if I allow myself to work through this life long relationship called grief.  I am new at this compared to the other brave bereaved parents who have been on this trail of tears far longer than me.  I am in awe of their strength and courage.  The most special people in the world.

Story behind “in logan’s shoes”

cropped-cropped-img_00772.jpgWhen I wanted to throw out his smelly worn-out running shoes in the trash, Logan insisted on keeping them as pieces of inspiration.  He held onto about 12 pairs and gave a few others to friends.  I thought he was complete nuts.

Logan’s most prized shoes were the ones he ran his first marathon in.  He packed those up, plus his medal (top 5 in his age division), and wrote a letter of encouragement on the back of his bib, put the items in a box, sloppily wrapped it up with paper and duct tape and gave it to a friend for Christmas a few years ago.   Logan told me his young friend needed words of hope that his running shoes and medal symbolized.

When I look at Logan’s first “real” pair of long distance running shoes (the kind that costs over $100), the souls are worn through.  Thick, durable tread reduced to holes.  The fabric on the sides unraveled.  Little to nothing holding the shoes together. As if he ran the rubber right off.

The worn shoes make me think about Logan’s will and determination to overcome his learning disabilities, asthma and physical challenges, and to cope with his depression, anxiety and eating disorder.   He had many deep struggles.

Logan was nine when he lost his father to suicide – and later, Logan struggled with suicidal ideation like his dad did.  That’s where the running and  physical fitness came in.  Logan found hope in challenging his mind and body to be an athlete.

Connecting with Logan by running in my shoes

Four months on the grief trail, I knew I had to do something to survive, to keep on going.  If I couldn’t heal my shattered heart, I could make my body stronger.

I mentally stepped in Logan’s shoes and thought  – maybe I should run again.

That’s when I hear him, even his tips as to how I should run.  He’s running backwards flashing his big smile, encouraging me to  push through.   For the first time in years, I experience a new PR in my run time.  After I cross the finish line, I feel the thrill Logan felt so many times when he gave it his all on the track.  That connection draws me even closer to him.

Logan has a story to tell that may help others who feel worn, broken and frayed like his shoes.  I will do my best to tell it.     By Tamara, Logan’s mom 

8 thoughts on “Story behind “in logan’s shoes”

    1. Thanks Jan. Shortly after Logan died, I desperately searched the web looking for another mom like me who lost a child and was able to survive the loss. Perhaps Logan’s story will give another crushed soul a little hope.

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  1. My grandmother had five children.
    She lost her daughter, Sara Ellen, when Sara Ellen was 29. (pictured today on my page
    Each of the other four children lost a child.
    My Uncle Roland lost a daughter, age 2.
    My Uncle G.B. lost a son (car wreck) age 18.
    My Aunt Mable lost a daughter, age 60, non-Hodgkins lymphoma
    My mother, Inez, lost a son, my brother, age 50, ALS
    My mother’s last feeling of joy left on the day she “viewed” her little boy.

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    1. Joyce, I am so glad you are open about this. Americans have a tendency to brush away death because of fear…it can’t happen to me. Just can’t. We as a society have become soft and weak because of our attitude toward death. Embrace what you have right now because it may not be there tomorrow.

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  2. Dear Tamara,
    In June 2016 my brother lost his beautiful and often sad son in a motorcycle crash. Timothy had recently pulled everything together and had become a shining light to his friends and family. As I see my brother trying to reconcile this huge loss, I cannot truly understand his grief, nor can I experience the depths of yours. But what I know is this – just as Timothy’s story has become my brother’s story, so has Logan’s story become yours. As you share his life and your struggles, you help others see that we have so much more in common that we rarely show to others, but when we do, we find support, encouragement and love. You are brave and strong to tell us about your hard work. There is ultimate meaning, as we read in I Corinthians 13, the beautiful “Love Chapter,” verse 12, and I’ll paraphrase – Right now when we look in a glass it’s dark, and we only see a dim reflection, but at some point we will see the whole and we will understand. I hold out that promise to you. God bless you, my friend.

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    1. Laura, what a beautiful reply. Like your brother, bereaved moms and dads have to put their pain somewhere. More than anything, we have to do something with the love we have for our deceased children. Pain and grief move mountains.

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