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In Loving Memory

Posted Apr 21 2012 10:00am

For once in my blogging life, I think I may be at a loss for words.

April 21. Today marks the one year anniversary of my mother’s sudden passing.

And I don’t know what to say. I’m not even sure how I feel.

One year of birthdays, holidays, celebrations, other anniversaries, triumphs and failures. I never noticed before now how quickly a year goes by. Just one.

Yet, at times, it feels like it was yesterday when I got the call from the policeman to go to the hospital immediately. I remember that day as if were yesterday. I remember where I was, who was around me, what he said, what I said, I even remember what I was wearing. It is a day that will forever be seared into my brain.

I remember bits and pieces of the funeral – a whirlwind of friends, family, loved ones. I remember she was buried in her running shoes with some other sentiments from me, my Dad and sister. I remember the flowers, the rain and the sudden impropriety of the whole world. I hated God and everybody. At times, I feel I am still working to forgive the former.   

And yet, I can’t remember what she was wearing or what we talked about the last time I saw her. I just remember we were having breakfast with my friend Wendy. It was a good day that day. Mom was happy. She has just run nearly 7 miles (well over her goal of 6.55 miles) and we all decided to go to breakfast. She ordered the crepes with extra strawberries from First Watch. She loved strawberries most of all. I ordered chocolate milk. Wendy ordered coffee. Mom left early, Wendy and I talked for an hour or longer. It is a happy memory, but one that is escaping me.

Just four days later she was gone. Just four.

How could any of us have known?

Not even one day has gone by since then that I have not thought about her – talked to her, cried out for her, laughed for her or missed her. There is a hole in my heart that will never – can never – be filled.

Running brought us closer than we had been since childhood. I will always run to remember my mother, no matter how old, tired, sick or injured I happen to be. It is my one earthly connection to her. I feel her beside me when I run. I know she is with me during those times.

If Mom were here, she would want you to know one thing: THIS . She was so proud of it; she had me proofread it right after she wrote it.

It is in the spirit of her thoughts and her determination to be a runner and complete the Cap City Quarter Marathon last May (which she did not get to do), that my family had these words inscribed on her headstone:

"The miracle isn't that I finished. The miracle is that I had the courage to start." - John Bingham

These same words by Mr. Bingham grace the pages of my blog. And it is because of my mother and father that I did in fact find the Courage to Start almost three years ago now. Since then, running, health and fitness has transformed my life into something that matters. The people I have met, places I have been, relationships I have built and opportunities gained are priceless, yes, but they would have been worthless had I
not taken that first step. And, if my parents had not been there every step of the way after that.

I love you and miss you greatly, Mom. No words can accurately describe either sentiment.

Amarillo by morning, up from San Antone
Everything that I've got, is just what I've got on
I ain't got a dime, but what I've got is mineI ain't rich, but Lord I'm freeAmarillo by morning, Amarillo's where I'll be...
Amarillo by morning, Amarillo's where I'll be.

Until the next mile marker where we meet again,
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