Nearly 4 months ago I began a journey to run a 50 mile ultramarathon in memory of my mother who died 15 years ago from Breast Cancer. I wanted to mark the anniversary by doing something really special and I thought to myself, “I know if I can just make it to the starting line, I can do this”. I am a firm believer in the importance of doing great things around the time of the death of a loved one. For me it has helped take the sting out of the memories that surround the death of a loved one. Over the years I have written meaningful blog posts about my mother, celebrated Mass (a friend even offered to go to Mass with me to support me), traveled through Europe (twice), gone hiking, played with Lillian, and now this… the ultramarathon. Sure, I have moments, but not like I used to. They tend to be brief and then I move on. Because of those happy memories that I make year after year, I am able to focus more on the memories I want to cherish about my mother. Like the Christmases we spent as a family with my aunts, uncles, and cousins. I enjoy recounting the trips to museums, botanical gardens, and musicals and plays. I think about the homemade food we would prepare together, the crafts we would make, and the plans to travel we talked about.
This year has given me something even more special around the time of my mother’s death. I have seen and experienced some incredible things that I never want to forget. From the countless sunrises as the cool black of night transitions to warm daylight, state line markers from more than a hundred years ago and stone foundations of homes that no longer exist, the friendly horseback riders in the woods who give me advice on where I should run, and most of all, peace of mind. I have begun to live in the here and now and worry so much less about the future and past. I am less addicted to being connected virtually and more connected with my family (admittedly still a work in progress). I have reignited my thirst for adventure and being in the environment. My diet has changed and opened my eyes to what goes into my body for fuel and pleasure. I am more focussed, generally happier, and I have so much more energy to get me through the day. Those are just a few of the many things that I have been able to do – those are just a few of the things that have made my life happier.
So here’s to you mom. Thanks for the memories… still making more with you. Oh yeah, not sure if you heard the news, you’re going to have a grandson now, too. 😉 I love you!
Please consider making a donation in memory of Mary. All proceeds go to the Susan B. Komen Foundation for Breast Cancer.
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