It’s no surprise Theresa Lang is missed
By Brian Stanley email@example.com August 11, 2012 6:42PM
Updated: November 7, 2012 4:41PM
As I go along in life, I’ve found people are sometimes surprised by the wrong things. That’s not always bad, either.
There is a balance to be found between what I want to write about and what appeals the most to readers, and I’ve found every once in a while I can get away with or need to swing that completely over to me.
Which is what I thought I was doing last December when I wrote about the loss of my friend Theresa Lang. When Theresa, 29, was killed in a traffic crash on an icy road, I used this space to reminisce and publicly brag about someone who provided many happy memories. It was timely and it was relevant, but if I’m being honest about that personal-professional dynamic I was writing it completely for myself.
So of course, I got more public response from the column about Theresa than anything else I’ve ever written.
For two reasons, I shouldn’t really have been surprised.
First, I forgot almost anyone who is old enough had someone in their history who died far too young and unexpectedly.
And secondly, I was writing about Theresa Lang, who, because she participated in about a million different things, had about a million friends.
Among them, her family and all their friends, people from various schools, various theater groups, various jobs, including her massage therapy clients and customers from Riley’s Bleachers, which held a benefit for her family’s funeral expenses.
Theresa also is missed by staff and students at TM Martial Arts, where she studied kickboxing and was preparing to become a self-defense instructor.
Tim Harrison said having a kickboxing tournament for amateurs of all ages probably would result in too many injuries for anyone to enjoy remembering Theresa on what would be her 30th birthday — August 25.
“She loved to run around here (both) to prepare for her kickboxing and to race with her friends,” Harrison said.
So Harrison and Bridget Wisz have organized a 5K Run/Walk as a memorial to Lang that they hope will become an annual tradition.
“Just a good day for people to get together and remember her,” Harrison said.
Over 100 people have already registered by calling 815-254-6141 or at signmeup.com/83605, but participants still will be able to sign up the day of the race. Registration is $30 before August 20 and $35 afterward with proceeds offsetting the cost of organizing the event.
The race starts at Cemeno’s Pizza and will follow the Will County Forest Preserve Trails off Theodore Street, Ingalls Avenue and Cedarwood Drive.
“Theresa was so multifaceted that some people might not know she was an athlete, a businesswoman, she loved nature,” Harrison continued. “She went whitewater rafting ...”
I stopped Harrison there because I was surprised to hear that.
But I shouldn’t have been.
And I won’t be surprised at how many of Theresa’s vastly varied rafting friends, performing friends and athletic friends she’ll be able to bring together again.
After all, it’s Theresa.