I had spent hours with people, and the day wasn’t over. Beginning to feel overwhelmed, I was afraid that the reunion would push me too far. Tired and irritable from a lack of sleep and hardly any time alone, I wouldn’t be able to enjoy myself.

So I took off running.

The wedding ceremony had just ended. People I hadn’t seen in months or years began to crowd me with questions of “So what’s your major?” or “Could you give me an update on your life?” With a fraud of a smile, I told them what they wanted to hear and then excused myself. I went down to the basement where we bridesmaids had gotten ready. Seeing that no one was down there, I wiped the tears off of my face.

And I took off running.

Grandma said a letter had come for me. I took it from her hands and stared at the address. Taking the stairs two a time, I ran up to the studio and shut the door behind me. She had written. After over a year of writing the ten-year-old girl, I had learned not to expect any letters from Atlanta. In the first few lines, I read, “Thank you for praying for me and believing in me.”

I could have run a marathon.

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