A letter to mom
Note: This post was written on March 22nd 2014 while I was in Atlanta, Georgia.
It’s been seven years since you left us here on earth, and today is your birthday so I wanted to let you know what I am going to do to honor your memory.
Let’s first go back to my childhood in Bingham. So many fun times growing up. You gave me all your attention as a stay at home mom, and I felt very loved. We did a many fun things together with dad, year after year. Once in a while, I think back to your struggles with your weight. You were always following the Weight Watchers program and trying to keep your weight down. I remember our discussions about gaining weight and how hard it is to lose once you have put it on. I remember going to “meetings” in Skowhegan, and how some nights I didn’t want to be there, but I knew it was important to you. Sometimes I miss those strawberry smoothies we used to make together from the WW recipe book, but I don’t miss drinking TAB with you… ugh!
A year before dad passed I took up running again. I decided that I had had enough of being obese, and was going to do something about it before heart disease took my life, like it took yours. Dad was acutely aware of my weight and how big I had gotten. When I saw our Christmas pictures taken at Paulines, I knew then and there something needed to change drastically. I was tired of being too fat to fit into a chair or an airplane seat. I was sick of the stares I would get from people. Walking through the halls at work I would avoid the window reflection, all because I knew what I was going to see, and I didn’t want to acknowledge it. Denial is a very strong emotion. When I finally had enough, I went to the only thing I knew had worked for you, Weight Watchers. Little by little the pounds started to slip away, and I tried to run again. I had a rough start, and got injured which set me back a year. I wasn’t about to give up my dream of running again though. When the time was right, I started, a few steps at a time to run, and little by little the distance grew.
All the while this was happening, Dad was watching me and telling me how he could see how determined I was,and every now and then he would ask how my dieting was going, and how much I had lost. Once I actually started running and doing races again, he would call to find out how my races went, and would boast to his friends how I was losing weight and getting back out there running on the roads again. When dad passed away, I felt like my biggest cheerleader was gone. I wasn’t sure if my running would have much meaning anymore. But as the weeks went by, I found that running was my sanctuary. It gave my heart a place to rest in the quiet and gave me a chance to grieve on my own. When I ran, I thought so much of how I wished you and dad were here to see me. I feel like my life has just started again, and you are missing out on the best part.
Mom, today is your birthday, and you would have been 93 today. I probably would have been in Bingham spending it with you and dad, and cherishing the time we had together. Instead, I am down south, in Atlanta Georgia, preparing to run a race in your memory tomorrow. 13.1 miles of reflection while I am running the hills of Atlanta. I hope that while I am out there on the road trotting along, I will feel your presence with me.
I miss you so much, and some nights I lay in bed wondering what you and dad are doing in heaven together. Dad pined away for you from the day you left this earth.. he never was the same without you. So many nights I heard him tell you goodnight and that he would be with you soon. Once he got the cancer, those words hit my heart, really, really hard, as I knew the inevitable was coming. The moment he passed as I was holding his hand, I felt a warm presence and knew that he was with you and that you both were happy and back together again. I am grateful for the years that you and dad had together, and with me.
Love you Mom (and Dad),