I think I am a very strong guy. If not physically, at least I think I have a strong heart, and the attitude of a warrior. For the sake of explaining what I have in mind here I will set aside all modesty and say that yes, I know I am strong.
But what does a really strong man do when he sees a woman who is even stronger? The only right thing to do is take you hat off and acknowledge it.
Eden is the strongest woman I know personally. And oh man, I know a lot of women, most of them amazing women. I was raised by strong, smart, independent women. I was married to strong, charming, witty, fabulous women. My girl friends are all super cool and interesting women. But Eden shadows US all.
So what is it that makes her so strong?
She has chosen to help others before she helps herself. She puts the welfare of others above her own. She cares that people, that nobody else cares about, will have a roof over their heads even when she is living in her car. She contributes and even jeopardizes her own finances so other will have something. She is the kind of person that will give everything, do anything, and go anywhere for others. I don’t know of any other quality that means more strength than that.
She never tells anyone what to do, and of course she never told me. But the light of her example shines too bright to be ignored, and at some point I felt I needed to do something about it, something to help her do what she does.
Not that she is easy to deal with. Kind of the other way around: I can’t talk to her sometimes. Her open mindness is mind boggling, and paradoxically her prejudices are just as impressive. She is smart as an old priest, but has a very hard time learning some new things. She can talk her way out of a submarine. She will dazzle you with her knowledge of everything and will leave you for days digesting what you just found out about yourself when you met her, like a python would take its time digesting a big animal, slowly and painfully.
I decided to raise money for her efforts during my run across America. Most of all, I decided that raising money to help her will not end at the pier in Venice, that is something I will keep doing from now on.
Eden has been a great friend. Someone who challenges me, irritates me at times, but at every turn shows with her compassion and love something my heart has been eager to learn. How can I repay that gift? How can one honor that?
Thank you, Eden. This run is dedicated to you. May this always remind you that there are plenty of people following your example, willing to help your efforts, and eager to learn from your endless love.
If there is someone to honor, someone to praise, and someone to support in this story, Eden is that person. I appreciate all the support and kudos and praise you all have been giving me. But when you feel like doing something for real, when you feel the urge to go beyond words and actually act for the sake of others, please choose to help this wonderful woman. She will make you proud at every turn, I promise you that!