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Running for Mom

“If Mom could get on her bike through the pain and the tears, just to be able to go, I can do this.”

Soaked before it even started

Soaked before it even started

On October 10, 2010, my younger sisters, my brothers-in-law and I ran 13.1 miles in the rain. This we did in memory of our mom, who’d lost her excruciating battle with neuroendocrine cancer six months earlier. Together–thanks to the loving support of our friends–we raised $5,015 in Mom’s memory for the American Cancer Society.

As we neared the end, my sister Rachael got quieter. Each step was harder than the last, but remembering Mom’s ferocious spirit in her final days gave Rachael the strength to persevere.

Tomorrow Rachael and Nick will run once more for Team Christine. It’ll undoubtedly be a struggle, but most things worth accomplishing are.

After my first marathon, I wrote:
Around mile 24, I wanted to die so that I wouldn’t have to run anymore.

When I wrote those words, I had no idea my mom would die of cancer six years later, at the age of 52. I similarly had no idea my younger sister and brother-in-law would run a marathon in her memory a year after that. I had no idea how proud I’d be that, instead of running a marathon wishing they’d die so they could stop running, they’d run so people could stop dying.

People often say to me, “I could never run a marathon!”

Couldn’t you, though? If there was a chance it would save your mom, or your sister, or husband,wouldn’t you? Call me a fool, or naive, but I believe you could. I believe you would.

I believe you would know the agony of being so tired you can’t keep your chin up. Of being so tired you want to strip naked just to take another pound off the load you’re carrying. And I believe that you would also know, when you crossed that finish line bawling, exactly what you are capable of surviving. You’d know that the victory is so sweet because the tribulations were so bitter.

It’s true of marathons, but no less true for life.

Tomorrow, Rache and Nick will run 26.1 miles. I’ll be 1,000 miles away as they cross that finish line, but my mind and heart will be turned toward their struggle, their triumph and the hope that someday fewer people will have cause to run in memory of a loved one stolen too soon by cancer.

Always and forever

Always and forever

This was among posts accidentally deleted from this blog.
Reposted 6/20/15

  1. June 20, 2015 at 8:55 am

    That’s beautiful… I would do something like that on a bike though…find some event that biked. I have an issue with my hip, so I couldn’t even run a mile without severe pain. 🙂 what a solemn, and special way to spend time with family.

    • June 20, 2015 at 9:07 am

      I don’t run as much anymore, but I’ve been thinking about picking up biking or swimming.

      I’m so glad to have made these memories with my siblings. And then … when Rache and Nick later ran the marathon … oh, how I wept, though 900 miles away!

  1. March 3, 2016 at 12:26 pm

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