Sunday, August 18, 2013

What will you be remembered for?

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.
2 Timothy 4:7

If you have been following me at all, you know I ran a 5K (my first race of any kind ever) on the Fourth of July and had hoped to run in more races this summer. Today is the first annual Don Lintereur Memorial Run and I really wanted to run in it. I just couldn’t do it; I have too many other commitments this weekend.

This is what the flyer for the race says about Don.

Don was a running icon in the Tomahawk and surrounding communities whose passion was to inspire people of all ages to develop a love and commitment to the sport of running. Don passed away on Thanksgiving 2012 after a courageous battle with kidney failure, running and competing right up until his death. Don was also a well-respected Biology teacher in the Tomahawk School District for 35 years. We hope this run, in his honor, will carry on his passion for running and his commitment to the field of education. All proceeds go toward a scholarship fund established in his name to assist THS graduates pursuing the field of education.

Do you want to know who Mr. Lintereur was to me? Besides my high school Biology teacher, he was my tutor for eight weeks while I was in junior high.  

The winter that I was a seventh grader, I broke my leg sledding. My cast went from the tip of my toes to the top of my thigh. I could get around on crutches ok, but someone decided that I shouldn’t go to school for the eight weeks that the unwieldy cast would be on. I didn’t argue with whoever made that decision.

Once a week, Mr. Lintereur came out to our house to give me my assignments for the next five days and to gather up the work that I had finished.  We’d visit a little bit, an odd concept for me since I was at that age where visiting with any adult, much less a teacher, was just plain awkward. But Mr. Lintereur saw past my teen-age-ness and talked to me like a person, laughing with me and never at me.

Then one day Mom made peanut butter cookies.

Apparently, Mr. Lintereur loved peanut butter cookies. He claimed that I should eat a lot of them as some component in the peanut butter cookie had bone-healing powers. He was a Biology teacher, remember, so he must know what he was talking about.

Which meant that my mom made peanut butter cookies every week the day before Mr. Lintereur was due to come.   

Here’s the funny thing. I have known that this run in his honor was coming up, but I wasn’t thinking about it that much since I wasn’t participating. But I have had a craving for peanut butter cookies for over a week. Friday night, I finally gave in and baked a batch. It wasn’t until I was cleaning up afterwards that my mind flashbacked to all those batches of cookies in seventh grade. 

(Mr. Lintereur's obituary. How's your obituary going to look?)


Elizabeth Olmstead McBride said...

Don Lintereur was our neighbor when we lived on Charles Ave in the 1980's. He and his wife Miriam were great neighbors. He would love knowing you remember about peanut butter cookies and that you made them Friday night. It was probably him nudging you from beyond.

Chris Loehmer Kincaid said...

Elizabeth, my other best memory is of both Don and Miriam riding around town on their bicycle built for two.