What do you do when a loved one is passing? Well I sat quite a bit while my mother was unresponsive, thinking of how I could do something, anything. Turns out there wasn’t much I could do. I did talk to her and I prayed. I played music and tried to share stories. I tried to understand why death was being so cruel and of course, why she was holding on, was she trying to tell me something? It felt like there had to be a reason. Mainly I did what I always do. I looked for a way to turn something “wrong” into something “right”. So I googled ALS fundraisers and came across UMASS Team Celluci and I knew this was it.
I’m on a quest do to all of the World Marathon Majors, but I have always joked that the only way I would do Boston was when I was 75 and only IF I didn’t slow down my current pace. This historic race is infamous for being speedy and hard to get into. The only other way was to work towards a charity bib. Fundraising can be hard and stressful, but so is watching a loved one die.
So the day after mom passed, I sat at my kitchen table with my laptop and in between tears composed my application to request admission onto the Celluci team to run Boston. In retrospect, it may have been too hasty. I didn’t yet know the amount of “business” that is associated with someone passing. Thankfully mami made arrangements for cremation, but there were people to call, thank, console. Bank accounts that needed to be closed and paperwork to fill out. Furnishings that needed to be moved and paperwork to sort. I wasn’t prepared for my immune system taking a huge dive. I became sick time and again. I made it through the holidays. That wasn’t hard, it was (is) the average Tuesday at 3:42 pm when some memory is overturned like a rock that exposes fragile life underneath.
The new year came into play and as I was starting to get my training and fundraising groove down, I was hit with appendicitis. Shortly, after recovery I started a new career and both fundraising and training went to the back burner in exchange for concentrating on healing and on-boarding. Which finds me here, 11 days away from the start line of the one and only Boston marathon, under-trained and definitely under fundraising goals.
So the objective is to finish this race, knowing every step and every mile no matter how much it hurts, isn’t as hard as what my mother experienced last summer and to try and raise as much as I possibly can in both awareness and resources for ALS research.
I feel scared and vulnerable, excited and impassioned, fearful and hopeful. However, as always marathon training and endurance running are metaphors for life. There are moments of beauty and despair. Finding my ability to be in that moment will get me through.
Love you Mami! I will do this for you!
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