Saturday morning, while at work, I received a message from my cousin that our grandmother had passed. She was 89 years old and had been falling ill for some time, so it was expected, but still heartbreaking no less. Between clients, my siblings and I worked on travel plans to get out to Missouri for the funeral later that week. I spent the next few days working and taking care of holiday errands. I had a mini-break down Monday morning after dropping my son off to school. I did not sleep too well and stuck to my training on Tuesday and Wednesday, even if it meant waking up super early to get everything done.
The funeral was simple and beautiful. Grandma lived a long life. She worked hard from a very young age, never giving up when obstacles jumped in her way. Never showed how tired she was, and never bothered with people’s nonsense. In her later years, she traveled the world and really enjoyed the life she put on hold for so long. It was a beautiful tribute, and it was wonderful to reconnect with my cousins, aunt, and uncles. I had not seen anyone from that side of the family since 2008 for my father’s funeral. I missed them a lot. The bright side of this unfortunate trip; I got to have some bonding time with my little sister…who, by the way, is much taller and spunkier than me. Yes, spunkier. We also got to share some fresh, hot Krispy Kreme’s with our brother. Yes, I know doughnuts are not part of my training, but they were warm, gooey, and delicious! Can you blame me for having a dozen?
Friday morning my sister and I woke up early to drive to St. Louis from Springfield so that we could catch our flight home. That’s when I discovered that the son of an old high school friend died earlier that morning. He was only 10 years old. He had spent the last three and a half years of his young life fighting cancer. I never met him, but loved to read about him on her Facebook wall. He seemed like a fun, bright young man who loved so much about life, even before the cancer. My heart felt heavy as I thought about what my friend, her husband, and her other children were going through. And yet, there was such an amazing show of love and support from family and friends from all over on Facebook for the family. From people she’s known from infancy, to new connections.
I missed my run on Friday. Life never slows down, regardless of what goes on around you, and so I went about my obligations. On Sunday I set out for my long run. The first half was a struggle. My turn over was slow, my claves tightened, my mind was bouncing from one thought to another, and my heart ached from the emotional rollercoaster of the past week. I cried on my run. The last time that happened was about a year ago when I started running from the mess and stress of my life at that time. By mile seven, I felt better. My feet moved a little quicker, my calves loosened a bit, my mind calmed down and my heart felt lighter. I reminded myself that all these things are a part of life and it’s the universe’s frustrating way of teaching us how to adapt.
It is the last hour of Christmas day. I think about where I was when I started running. Life was so different then. I was miserable. I think about how far I have come and how I got here. I lay here with my family, counting my blessings. I have so much to be thankful for. I think about my high school friend, my aunt and uncles, and the Newton, CT families. I wish for their hearts to heal. I hope they will be able to make sense of it all and find a way to channel these devastations into something positive one day. I hope one day they can find peace. I hope the New Year will be better for everyone. Merry Christmas friends!