Feeling the Need to Say Thank You

I’ve been thinking a lot about how many people I feel the need to say thank you to, and how many kind and thoughtful acts I’m so grateful for.  Sometimes that’s overwhelming, as overwhelming as this entire journey has been. I can’t possibly list each and every single individual and I don’t want to even try to do that because I don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings by leaving them out. I’m not quite sure that I have the words yet to say thank you adequately or to possibly explain how much each and every thoughtful message, gift, card, word and so much more I have received has really meant.

Every bunch of flowers brightened up my home and made me smile just a little bit more. I love fresh flowers and always thought if I was rich it would be the first thing I would do — have fresh flowers in my home all the time.  IMG_3504

Every single card and note is a treasure. I’ve saved them all. We don’t do that much anymore — hand write notes to friends. The cards and notes warm my heart. I’ve saved each one.

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I can’t even begin to list the gifts. The coloring books were great company when I needed to just sit and check out. And the comfy pajamas, wool socks, blankets, magazines, books, bracelets and more … each and every one is a reminder that for just oneIMG_3503 minute, maybe more, there was a lot of love in people’s hearts.

Friends, both new and old, dedicated their races to me. Some gave me their finisher medals. I treasure them as much, maybe even more, than my own. Cancer put most of my race schedule on hold for 2017. The events I did participate in were that much more special, and it was because of the support of family and friends that they happened.

All those things that made life for Bryan and for me a bit easier — meals, walking Brody, meeting me or even just offering to meet me for swims, bikes, runs, organizing Club events when I couldn’t make it, rides to New York, lunches.

There were the big things — like parties and vacations with special friends and with family.  and there were the small things, like words spoken from the heart.

So many moments that come back to me when I’m alone with my thoughts, that’s when I cry.  But not because I’m sad.  Because I feel blessed.  And I feel loved.  And I know that I’m a better person because of all of this.  And now I understand what I’ve heard other people say in connection with life-changing events in their lives — I wouldn’t change any of it.

The more I think about it the more I remember.  And these are things that I will always remember.  And it all comes back to a lesson I’ve talked about before, something I learned in a conversation with Sister Madonna Buder.  I have my gift from God, which is the ability to help and inspire others.  It’s my obligation to do what I can with this gift, to share with others who are going through this journey with cancer.  I’ve learned a lot and continue to learn on a daily basis.  I wish no one had cancer ever again but I’m thankful that friends and acquaintances feel they can reach out to me for advice, resources or just an ear to listen.

 

The Boston Marathon 2017

Four years ago today I ran my third Boston Marathon and was blessed to be able to finish.

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I qualified again and ran Boston in 2014 and in 2016 and was supposed to be running it for the sixth time this year.  Instead, this Monday I will be in my surgeon’s office for my follow-up appointment and hope to find out more about what is to come for me and my treatment plan.

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I’ve been thinking all week about so many of my friends and teammates from the Jersey Girls StayStrong Multisport Club, my Coeur Sports Team and my other fellow Newton Running Team members.  And truth be told, right now I’m feeling a little sorry for myself.  But, I will be thinking of each one of you on Monday and wishing that I was out there running with you.  If it’s your first, or your fifth or your twentieth — soak in each and every moment of it.  I love the excitement of Boylston Street in the days leading up to the race.  I love the energy at the race expo and number pickup and seeing friends from all over the world.  I love everything involved in Marathon Monday . . . . . getting to the start, hanging out in the athlete village waiting for my wave to line up, and running every step of the way.  Especially after the bombing in 2013 I made sure to look in the faces of the spectators who still come out and cheer for us, whether we were in the first wave or the last wave.  I love the signs and the families, the kids, the senior citizens, the college students and the music.  I even love the pain of the hills, and actually look forward to Heartbreak Hill.  Because it meant the hard part was behind me and I could look forward to the firehouse where my husband always watched for me at the window, and then the turn onto Boylston Street and that stretch to the finish line.

I wish each and every one of you the best day you can have.  I have one small favor to ask if you are running — when it gets hard, run just a little bit of it for me and I’ll do my best to get you to the finish!  902005_10152760851595521_1103218482_o