Monday, April 25, 2011

the first lap...

in less than a week.. I step on a track and take a first lap.. and relay...

this is my 5th year participating in the Relay for Life event in my neighborhood.... and a million light years from last year..last year I walked the survivor's lap.. the first lap.. waiting for results from a biopsy after suspicious symptoms and a frighting mammogram.. but I relayed.. with family, friends and strangers.. walking the lap being congratulated on being a survivor and wondering each step.. am I?  am I a survivor again? I stepped on to the track.. frightened and worried.. unsure of myself and who I was and where I was going..when my loved ones joined me for the second lap.. it was almost too much for me.. I had to resist running to them and screaming.. am I?  am I a survivor again?

what a difference a year makes..this year I step on to the track for the lap.. grateful for this journey.. sure of myself.. knowing who I am.. and what purpose I have..determined to run my race.. walk my laps and hold hands with others that do the same.. our race this year has theme laps.. zany fun ideas like a 50's, 60's lap where I can be the hippie of my youth.. pajama lap where I can be the old woman in curlers with the huge slippers..

I realize it is putting the first footprint down..I guess the first lap is the hardest in any race.. you have to find your pace.. steady your breathing.. as you put one foot in front of the other.. you have to know when to push yourself.. and when to take it have to have laps that are silly..laps that are fun..laps where you cry..  and when you are not quite sure what lap you are on... you have to have a team that yells, pushes, laughs and loves you .. one more step.. one more lap.. it is the start that is important.. and lap after lap you find your normal.. you become yourself.. the person that God has given you to be...

It seems so easy this year.. stepping on to the track.. putting one foot down... on the first lap..

Sunday, April 24, 2011

the attitude of gratitude..

it is Easter Sunday.. a time for family get togethers and as my yogi sweet Shannon said Friday night.. it is time for an attitude of gratitude.. her class was packed this week.. word has gotten out that sweet Shannon wrings the stress out of your body with a twist to the left and a stretch to the right.. her sing songy voice in a quiet darken room takes away the weeks toxic stress and lulls you into thinking you can do it again the next week..

as I get ready for the day.. I am counting my blessings.. husband, family and friends..wonderful Saturdays with friends followed by coffee and oatmeal at a local coffee shop.. I find myself finding my humor again.. memories that are not full of cancer and surgeries ..battles and strategies..  I find it easier to breath this week.. deep cleansing breaths... I will keep working on my attitude of gratitude... and the healing continues..

Monday, April 11, 2011

a life full of rainbows..

everyone up North here saw the rainbows this weekend.. double ones.. vibrant and shining.. glowing with rays of light flowing down to the earth with the color... this weekend started out drizzly.. cold and raining.. Emma's run.. an anniversary.. a long long year has gone by.. one that seems like yesterday and yet far away in the distance.. I participated in Emma's run again this year.. not as fast as last year.. but my team mates kept me going.. like they always do.. my team mates and special ingredient friends.. and rainbows..

As I waited for the final runners to come to the finish line.. in the drizzly.. cold and rain.. I suddenly felt a kaleidoscope of colors and memories rushing in.. last year..running up the hill.. seeing a team mate step out and yell.. my first race.. in a long line of life races to come this year..

who knew... do we ever know.. what life holds for us... who knew.. where courage comes from.. how many more hills to come.. It suddenly seemed very real and I realized.. it was not a dream.. it had happened day after day.. cancer again.. more surgeries and the death of my mother.. I started to cry .. lost in the memories of a year that seemed unreal.. for a moment in time.. suspended ..for a moment in time.. with me looking in..

I found myself folded into the embrace of team mates.. many who stood by me as I ran up my hills.. hugged back to the moment.. encouraged to "complete not compete".. I felt home.. safe and ready to run another race.. up another hill..

later in the day.. I saw the rainbow.. people stopping to take pictures.. it was so bright.. so glowing.. and I remembered ..look up..look up.. focus on the finish line is the lesson I have learned.. look up to the finish.. and make sure you look for rainbows..

Monday, April 4, 2011

my 2 miles and the lime green shirt

not a lot of cupcake runners showed up this Saturday morning at 6:30 a.m... there was girl scouts and camping and only a handful came out.. so my run/walk 2 miles was unaccompanied...

my 2 miles takes me up and around and down .. around the park.. the ponds, the trees and the waterfalls.. I walk past the soccer all the down hill parts that I can.. the beauty of the park in the morning helps me resist the temptation to run across the street to McDonald's..I love this route in the spring.. the buds on the trees are starting to bloom and it is quiet except for the birds greeting the new morning..

this Saturday, these 2 miles belong to me..only me.. just me... I have walked/run these miles time after time.. Saturday morning after Saturday morning.. deep in thought.. listening to music.. sometimes skipping and holding my arms out to feel the air as it goes by.. depending on the song....I sometimes feel like I am flying..always thinking.. always going over fate in my head..

this Saturday I was thinking...coming down the hill.. that we cannot escape our destiny or our fates.. I have felt over whelmed with news of my favorite ingredient friend Anita's parents both fighting cancer.. first her father and now her mother with breast cancer.. I have felt over whelmed with news of my Italian family's Gianfranco.. now diagnosed with lung cancer.. starting the second part of his treatment.. and his wife Mara saying.."it is bad".. I was thinking... I was thinking...

wait.. in the distance...was that a lime green shirt? 

there is a stretch in my 2 miles.. that curves just a bit.. you can tell if someone is on the path coming towards you only because you catch a glimpse of a shirt or hat or pet pulling at a leash.. it was at this curve.. I thought...I felt.. wait.. was that a lime green shirt?  Like the one my friend Linda K wore each time she trained for her 3 day .. along with her team mates....

this feels strangely familiar.. is that a lime green shirt coming up the path.. getting ready to yell.. "there is Julia's mom!" and enclose me in a bear hug that picks me up off of my feet.. and suddenly.. I felt her there.. my friend Linda K.. now an Angel.. done fighting the fight on earth and taking it up where it counts.. for a moment I felt the color of the shirt.. saw her turn the curve.. throw her hands up in the air and heard her yell..

I realized that my fate is set.. that she will always be there with me .. that each day is a day that should be lived with expectation.. waiting for the lime green shirt, the bear hug .. the love and friendship that we are granted.. there in the stretch of my 2 miles.. I felt that I had a my friend Linda K.. in her lime green shirt..