It’s been one year. It’s been six years. Two different milestones but really two very interconnected milestones.
Six years ago, I toed the line at my first marathon. My mother was a big cheerleader in my running. She never said I shouldn’t do it because I’m too old, I’ll hurt my knees or any of those other things that non-runners will tell someone when you say you are going to start running. She encouraged me. She asked where I was running, even for training runs. She would easily tell me to get off the computer – we talked daily either via chat or Skype – and get my butt out the door. When my father – she and he had divorced when I was very young – died, she told me to not let myself get sucked into things and to keep running as I would feel better for it.
Mom was excited when I chose Myrtle Beach as my first marathon. She thought that would be great, none of the hills here locally. She would give me race entries for my birthday. She and my stepdad bought me my first, and so far only, Garmin.
One year ago, the day started like most of them do here but Mom didn’t get on Skype. I wasn’t surprised because she hadn’t been feeling well. The nurse had had to give her a nebulizer treatment the day before but it seemed to work. I hadn’t talked to her for a day or two because it had been really snowy here. I had shoveled and shoveled. Then my phone rang . It was Mom and Tom’s California number. Not unheard of that she would call because I wasn’t online as I had gone on to do other things but it wasn’t her. It was my stepdad. Mom was gone.
She had battled cancer since shortly after her 70th birthday. Who knows how long it had been in her body before the diagnosis? She fought the battle her way. Her death was her way also. There was no service. The details had been pre-planned. The cremation and then her ashes were put among her rose bushes.
Two events inexplicably intertwined – one in 2011, one in 2015.