Running to Stand Still

…busy Dad trying to make it all work


I’m a charity runner for the American Cancer Society’s DetermiNation Team.  Here is the story of my Dad.

My Father passed away in August 16, 1981.  Thirty years ago today.  The death certificate basically said he died of pneumonia.  What bullshit.  My Father had battled cancer for almost four years.  We found out right after I started high school.  It first started in his lung.  They removed the lung.  Then it went to his brain.  They removed the tumor.  Then it settled in his lymph nodes.

All the while he tried to quit smoking but couldn’t.  He had been a WWII veteran who received the Purple Heart fighting in the Battle of the Bulge in the Ardennes Forests of Belgium.  He had started smoking during the war and could never quit.  Ever.  Even after removing one of his lungs.

My Father wanted to see me graduate from High School.

At the time the treatment for cancer seemed quite barbaric.  I can remember him being so sick from the chemo drugs that he couldn’t get himself up from the bathroom floor.  The brain tumor affected his eyesight.  No one knew this until after a serious car accident where I was also a passenger.  He was a man who could always figure things out, knew the right thing to do but he couldn’t fight what was killing him.  He was scared.

My Dad died 8 weeks after I graduated.  He was 55.  I was 17.  It was thirty years ago today.  I can’t believe it’s been that long.

Everyone has stories similar to mine.  Everyone.

My Father never saw me go to college and graduate, never sat with me in a bar and had a beer, never saw me do well with my career, never met his future daughter-in-law and never met my three beautiful girls.

I can’t remember what he sounded like and I can’t remember his laugh.  Cancer took that away from me as well.

Right now it’s 5:28am, Tuesday, August 16th and I’m going for a run.

23 responses to “Dad

  1. David Pittman (@DP_Turtle) August 16, 2011 at 8:21 am

    55. Way, way too young to be taken away. And 17 is far, far too young to lose your Dad. Thanks for sharing this major reason why you’re running with DetermiNation to fight cancer.

  2. Michael Gann August 16, 2011 at 9:53 am

    Ed.. tears in my eyes as I read this… I know it was hard to write… thanks so much for sharing… you are a real man.. an amazing husband and father of 3 beautiful girls… and are touching so many others without even knowing it.. I was so proud that I was able to introduce you to my wife and baby boy this past Sunday… and so glad that or paths have crossed over the past year.

    • ed schober August 16, 2011 at 2:34 pm

      Bama thanks for the kind words. We have much in common and it’s been a pleasure to get to know you as well. It was great meeting your wife and baby boy. I just wish I could run as fast as you!

  3. Angela August 16, 2011 at 10:06 am

    Thanks for sharing. Very powerful. Unfortunately, I have a similar story with my mother. She’s the reason that I’m going to run the 2012 Georgia Marathon.

  4. cbursian August 16, 2011 at 10:17 am

    This is why we run for DetermiNation. Ed, thank you for sharing that powerful story.

  5. KM August 16, 2011 at 10:26 am

    Hi Ed,

    Thanks for sharing your story. It’s touching, and I can relate. I lost my dad to cancer last year, but it wasn’t his death that hurt me so much because we weren’t very close. It was the loss of both of my grandparents to cancer that really affected me. My grandfather, who helped raise me, passed away about 6 weeks after I graduated from high school, so I can kind of relate to your story. Watching his deterioration was painful. Two years ago, my grandmother passed away from endometrial carcinoma five days before Christmas. My sister can no longer have kids from cancer. This past year, I learned I can finally have kids, despite cancer.

    Your dad passed away on the day I was born. My intention this year was to run the marathon with ACS to raise money to celebrate more birthdays, but more importantly, to give all of our family members and those of our friends a fighting chance against this terrible illness. Unfortunately, health complications have taken that opportunity from me, but I’m not giving up so easily. I will be fighting that battle again next year, more determined than ever to run the marathon and raise money and awareness for all kinds of cancers. And in the meantime, I’m happy to support people like you and my friend Mel who are both DetermiNation athletes.

    Thank you for fighting the good fight. Hopefully next year, I’ll be right there with ya.


    • ed schober August 16, 2011 at 2:41 pm

      KM…First of all never give up. You will make it to that start line next year and you’ll finish and it will be one of the greatest moments in your life. Secondly doing it as a member of DetermiNation will make crossing that finish line even that much more enjoyable. Thirdly…Happy Birthday!!

      Also thank you so much for the donation. It is much appreciated.


  6. Donna smith August 16, 2011 at 10:46 am

    thank you for sharing, Ed. I am so sorry for your loss, grateful that you can honor his spirit by running long and fast…I think he would be proud of you. I used to think that time would ease some of the more painful memories, maybe replace them with happier ones, but I think that is probably wishful thinking…and I admire that you have found a way to channel that pain into something so positive.

    • ed schober August 16, 2011 at 2:44 pm

      Thanks Donna…Usually this day comes and goes but as I was writing a lot of memories just came back to me. Time does help forget some of the bad memories but unfortunately not all of them. Thank you again for reading.

  7. Anna Unger August 16, 2011 at 11:35 am

    Hi Ed,
    Thanks for writing this. I don’t know if you remember me….we chatted briefly Sunday morning before the race. It’s been almost 20 years since my dad died. Seems like yesterday and forever ago both at the same time. Hope you had a good run this morning.

    • ed schober August 16, 2011 at 2:46 pm

      Anna….It was nice to meet you on Sunday. I’m sorry for bringing up some bad memories but I hope there were a few good ones in there as well. And yes I had a great long run this morning. Could’ve ran forever.

  8. donna schober August 16, 2011 at 12:34 pm

    so simply stated, so beautifully written, so powerfully felt. We are proud of you!

  9. Jennifer Schober Crowther August 16, 2011 at 9:55 pm

    Uncle Ed, your making me cry over here. Love you and thank you for sharing! XO

  10. Colleen 'Epperly' Morrissette August 17, 2011 at 1:16 pm

    Ed: Thanks for sharing your story and inspiring others. I am on the Determination committee in the Twin Cities and I have also run for Determination. I lost my dad 2 years ago, he was 59. Thanks for spreading the word about Determination. Keep up the fight!

  11. Running Manuel August 17, 2011 at 3:57 pm

    Ed your story is powerful and inspirational. Cancer Sucks. I admire your passion and commitment to fight this disease As a fellow DetermiNation Athlete in Northern California, I wish you the best of luck and continue to fight the good fight. We will beat this dreaded disease as a Nation of Athletes. Cancer don’t stand a chance

  12. Diana Schober August 18, 2011 at 10:05 pm

    Ed Schober was my Father In Law… I was 19 years old when I married his first son. I was the lucky one all the way around having Ray for my husband and his dad Ed in my life. Ray and I have many sad memories of his fight with cancer.. that we will never forget but the good memories are so vivid and clear the cup cakes he would hide and share only with you Eddy!
    The fun we had at the lake all the laughing and of course the way he loved his family….. hummm that makes me smile… just thinking of his grin when he was with his kids and his “Ritzie”.
    Eddy we are all so proud that you are running to win the good fight, keep up the great work because Dad is watching ~ I’m sure he is watching and he has a Great Big Grin loving that you have three healthy happy little girls a lovely wife and a great life!

    Love U little brother.

  13. Severine August 20, 2011 at 3:48 am

    Thank you very much for sharing this with us. My dad died from lung cancer because he was a smoker. His best friend too. It is so hard to stop smoking … The best is to never start. That’s why I believe so much in prevention and in sport … If you can’t take stairs, think about what you are doing to your lungs … Today I ran again. Again with my dad in mind. Thanks for sharing with us again.

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