Winship 5k and more
Better late than never.
The Winship 5k is less than a month away.
Over the past five years I planned for it months in advanced.
But better late than never seems to be the name of the game this year.
Can’t quite get ahead of the daily grind.
And according to all the older wise souls I love , I never will.
So it’s hard to believe it snuck up this quick.
I knew October was on the horizon because
Jake asks me everyday for an iPod touch for his birthday.
Followed by a list of why he is ready ,
is taking a pole of all the kids in his grade who have some device ,
and how he is responsible.
I think that I avoid Jake’s question mostly
because that means Mike's birthday is coming too.
And all the things that October brings. Fall football ,
cooler breeze, birthdays , candy corn , Halloween,
and the Winship 5k .
All the things that made this month my favorite.
But I miss Mike.
And that is trumping everything good.
I don’t want to stay sad.
Because I know he doesn’t want that for me.
And because the kids.
They are joy each day.
They find it.
They are pure light.
I show up late for fundraising
I think because my brain has been clouded.
I also know J, C, and G were Mikes greatest legacy.
He was only worried about them.
And the past month,
I have been pouring energy into guiding them through their grief
and getting adjusted to a new routine.
New grief clubs, New rooms , new beds , new spots teams, new bedtime….
Somethings I am winning
other things not at all.
They have adjusted well , way better than I expected , and I couldn’t be more thankful.
Yet I found myself sinking back into the grief.
I missed our life with Mike.
Our hectic , unpredictable, messy , day to day life.
Not knowing what doctor appointment would come next.
Here I was trying to create a new normal in a life that will never feel normal again.
He is missing.
The new routine
is naturally becoming a new normal.
And I’m learning to accept that.
But not without kicking a screaming.
Often people wonder how the kids are doing.
And I am thankful for how are ok they are.
They are loving the new beds.
And predictability of day to day routine.
So I will take it .
However long it last.
I know they feel Mike with them.
And I feel sure he is.
I wrote this long email yesterday.
And didn’t share.
I think because sometimes it sounds sad , a lot like self pity.
And Mike would hate that.
His voice is always in my head.
So I went to Orange Theory
instead of posting it,
to meet my sister in love .
I have been trying to get out of my head ,
my own self pity ,
when I have the energy to.
Saying yes to lunches and outings with loved ones and new friends.
Yes to kates club , birthday parties, soccer, and street parties with neighbors .
I find even when in my head and heart I want to say no ,
Mike and God are saying yes for me.
Gods Grace is showing up , when I say yes.
Orange theory was another one of those yes's.
When I go for a run by myself , I tend to stay in my own thoughts. Ha , like you couldn’t tell, most everything I send was something I typed in the notes on my phone during a run as I almost run into a stop sign.
I finally took the signs advice , and got out of my head.
At the exercise class , if you have never been to one.
There is a coach leading the 1 hour class.
You go from treadmill to rower to weight floor.
While on the treadmill , Jasyman our coach , guides you through the workout.
She has inspired me more than she knows each week.
She pushes me and guides us through the ....
Walk , base, push , and all out.
Yesterday the goal was to be able to keep the base pace after a longer push.
She said, being able to maintain the base after a push ,
would cause your heart to get stronger while in that zone.
I tried to stay there.
Not exactly easy.
And the end of each block ,
you have a 30 second all out.
When you are dead.
you have to give it your all.
But she cheers you on , and says your name.
And you run a little harder.
Although you don’t feel like you have anything left in you.
She believed in me when I wasn't sure if I had it in me
And afterwards ,
after you catch your breath and realize you aren’t going to die.
You feel better than ever.
I stop thinking about myself and my grief while I am there.
But yesterday I thought about
how this base , push , all out cycle
Is similar to our everyday lives.
In order to make our heart stronger we have to push ourselves.
We have to give an all out when we have nothing left.
When we feel like we are inside are being burned .
Especially my heart when wanting Mike back so bad.
We have to lean in to others.
We have to let others push us when we have nothing left to give
But we also have to know our push limit ,
to maintain our base.
You can’t possibly live your life in an a push or all out.
That’s where we end up in the pit of grief.
With no one to help us out.
It’s hard to do alone.
We have to show up for each other now more than ever.
We have to say yes and have a little faith,
when no sounds easier.
Relief comes after we have been pushed by others.
and we give it that all out
and get back to base a little stronger.
It plays in all parts of our lives.
Devastation and loss is an understatement in Lousiana.
And with Mikes old stomping grounds on the news
and talking to our family
about the immense devastation and loss they are experiencing,
triggered the grief to come back with a vengeance ,
Just like Ida,
Just like cancer does,
Just like covid…
It doesn’t care who you are, what you have, how old you are,
If you have a new home, or a new business
Or if you have already had too much loss in the last year.
Or too much loss in that very day.
We are all in the path of suffering, no one is exempt.
if it doesn’t hit you today.
It might tomorrow.
Although I will always pray it doesn’t.
I feel like we are all suffering and living in the aftermath
of some storm these days.
We have been hit by the hurricane of loss…
Everyone is hurting, suffering, has lost someone…
Lost their mom, their husband, dad, child, best friend, dog…
To covid, to suicide, to cancer, to old age…
To a hurricane…
We try to keep going .
We keep pushing our selves
never allowing ourselves to hit base again.
Putting one foot in front of another.
And the mess seems too big.
No one knows where to start the clean up process.
The job is too big for one person alone.
Covid came and turned everyones lives upside down .
Similar to the way a cancer diagnosis does.
And still the world turns.
The sun still will rise the next day.
There are still three little guys
Who need breakfast , lunch, and iPods.
So we are forced to keep going .
The damage hads been done .
Inside , we are wrecked.
How do we go on
When we are running on reserves.
I think it's in allowing someone to help remind us
we aren't alone
that its ok to come back to base after an all out.
Celia came home with this story she wrote
Last week at school. She gave me permission to share.
And it brought me back to faith.
The reminder I need people.
I thank God for my little people.
They bring me back to faith.
Back to humanity.
To why we are here.
And why I will never give up.
We need each other.
We can not possibly do life without each other.
I am grateful for kids, who do this the very best.
Just show up .
And ride bikes for hours and play in the street with each other,
masked or not masked with nothing to prevent them from loving each other.
She gave me hope and strength
The way her daddy did.
He taught her this lesson. To cheer others on. And to never give up.
I think I will always miss Mike in October.
I think he is proud of where we are today.
A broken winged parrot not giving up on the elephant.
This month we will show up
The parrot us.
Better late than never.
At base pace.
Not the prepared way ,
the push me
that I envisioned
with a team as big as we had before.
But we still show up with love.
And know that people and an elephant
of Gods grace
will meet us there.
I know we are all suffering.
But if you want to join us we would
Love to hug you ….
October 2nd at the Winship 5k
You can join Leukidators and Dr Arellano’s team. She has been an elephant for me.
We are also going to walk in light the night that evening.
We would love for you to join us for either or both. Can’t promise happy kid’s by the end of the day.
We will show up , after what has felt like a push of a year.
And give it our all out.
with hope of a stronger heart after all.
To raise awareness for all those suffering from cancer and all those who are taking care of those fighting , professional and loved one.
My life will Never feel normal again because of cancer.
But that’s a good thing.
Because that’s when change happens.
When I forgive cancer.
I realize it changed my life for the better.
I told someone recently the Winship 5k , often felt like the rainbow 🌈 between storms of cancer.
We hope to see you at the rainbow.