On March 11, 2018 we gathered a team of runners, walkers, and virtual racers at the Get Your Rear In Gear- Tucson 5k event! In all honesty- I was a little nervous about the turn out for Team Live Moore. You see, I haven’t lived in Tucson for 13 years!!! Matt and I met in Flagstaff, AZ while attending Northern Arizona University and then moved to Portland, OR in 2008 so I could attend graduate school. After our move to the northwest- we kind of never left- we spent 9 years there. We got married, renovated our house (true DIY status), started businesses and had a baby. Oh and cancer entered our world. Blah!
One day while Matt was laying in bed recovering from a chemo treatment I came in to check on him. He looked up from his iphone as I rounded the corner. With a baby on my hip- I handed Matt his anti-nausea medicine. He put the maroon pill down on his pillow and asked me, “What would you do if I died?” Now I would be lying if I said I hadn’t thought about this. When your husband has stage iv colon cancer- you are forced to face death through your anxious thoughts, rearing fears, and uncertainty planning for an unknown future! No questions were ever off limits during our relationship- in fact Matt and I talked about anything and everything. However, I was a little caught off guard by the depth of his happenstance question. Pure exhaustion was all I could feel in the moment and without a filter my heart spoke honestly, “I would close my practice and move back to Arizona with my family.” He nodded and then he said, “Well, what are we waiting for? Let’s go.” I was taken aback by his response. I then gave him 25 reasons why we couldn’t jump ship. And then for a brief moment- I felt peace as my thoughts attempted to wrap around the idea of Matt joining me on the journey home. “Live Moore!”- he reminded me with a big smile.
Never did I expect to ever come back to the desert. However, in March of 2017 we made a full circle to the state where our love once began- Arizona. However, it was not a honeymoon, cathartic, blissful homecoming. It was a returning to say goodbye to a life we once dreamed about under the stars in our early twenties. A month later, Matt passed away.
Almost exactly a year from our move we were honoring Matt through Team Live Moore at the Get Your Rear In Gear event! And you know what?!? The most beautiful thing happened- not only did people support the event they SHOWED UP!!! Matt’s mother, father, and sister came all the way from Idaho, high school and college friends drove down from across the state, people I hadn’t talked to in 10 plus years came out ready to win the race! We had virtual racers from literally all over the United States rooting us on. And Guess what— Team Live Moore ended up having the largest team (65 peeps!) AND raised the most money to pass on to El Rio Community Health for colorectal screenings for those in need.
It has been 13 days since the race and I am blown away by ALL the support that has come forward through this event. Matt always brought people together! I am in awe to see him continue to do so as he journeys on in the spirt world. From the bottom of my heart…THANK YOU Team Live Moore (near and far) for spreading the message of Live Moore and SHOWING UP! Keep living life in the present, engaging in acts of kindness through the #livemoorechallenge, and simply Living Moore! Matt is with us through it all! 💙💙💙