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Getting to "Wednesday"

Mom died on December 14, 1995 at the age of 42. She had been battling Hodgkin’s lymphoma and developed pneumonia just before Thanksgiving, landing her in ICU for about a month before her passing.

Needless to say, the time between Thanksgiving and December 14 is always a little difficult, with some years being easier than others. One year I actually forgot! Then I ended up feeling even worse.

This year was HARD. For a week I agonized over whether I could get myself to the cemetery or not. For a week I woke up every day thinking, “6 more days until Tuesday.” “5 more days until Tuesday.” I relived December 14, 1995 multiple times in my head every single day. I had no patience for anything or anyone. I just wanted it to be Wednesday. I needed it to be Wednesday. When is it going to be Wednesday???

One of the best things anyone has ever told me was just this past week, “You’ve been getting to “Wednesday” for 15 years and it won’t be any different this year.” True, and obvious, yet the reminder and confidence boost was apparently what I needed to get me through the past few days. And guess what? It’s Wednesday!  And the worst Tuesday of the year is behind me.

What does this have to do with Mile Stones? Everything.

I liken this year-long cycle to an endurance event. I’ll use the marathon because I’ve done a few, and after my triathlon in May, perhaps I’ll find more similarities. But for now I’ll refer to the marathon.

Here’s what I’ve learned:

  • Ready or not, like it or not, and as far away as it may seem, race day IS coming.
  • During training, you will have bad days and you will need rest days. Every breakdown can end up a breakthrough if you let it.
  • No matter how well you stick to your training plan, you could have a great race that day or you could have a terrible race that day.
  • If you push yourself, your mind and body will respond. You’re stronger than you think.
  • You need spectators to get you through the toughest miles. Let them.
  • People who haven’t done a marathon will not relate, though they may try. And that’s ok. They want to show that they’re interested and just don’t really know what to say. Smile and take it as a show of support.
  • If you need to walk, walk. If you need to crawl, crawl. You do what you need to and just. keep. going.
  • Carbs definitely help.
  • The only difference is that in real life, there is no finish line. You take some recovery time and start training again.

From this year forward, December 15 will not only forever be referred to as Wednesday, but it will also be another one of my finish lines in a string of many to come.

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About Mile Stones

Original race bib coasterizer. Team in Training Coach, Fundraising Mentor, 13 year alum. Gemini. Hater of easy. Go big or go big.

2 responses »

  1. Allison,
    I am so sorry that it is so difficult for you. You are a wonderful person who always smiles and never gives up. Thank you for the support you have always given me and all you do for Team! I love the saying you have in the back room….”do or don't do…I often tell myself this when trying to get thru things. This Christmas is destined to be the happiest I have had in almost 10 years (and yet my tree is not even up, and it is still difficult for us given all the change, the loss and challenges D and I have with our kids…adjusting to our new life.) So chin up girl. I admire and respect all that you do! Keep doing!

    Reply
  2. Allison,

    I love that you took the time to put your honest thoughts out there. There are so many of us who miss the ones we love-siblings, spouses, parents, children who've been taken from us by cancer and other circumstances. I just realized that your mom passed away just about 40 days before my mom did-we lost her on January 23, 1996 from lung cancer at the age of 53. I was in my last week of Patisserie class at CIA, and just wanted to quit altogether after that. I went through a very rocky period of adjustment, and honestly thought I'd never graduate (she was my cheerleader). But because she was my biggest fan, I continued. Oddly enough, what helped me was that someone told me: You never really “get over it” as people sometimes say. Its more like losing a limb. Harsh as it may sound, you learn how to work around it.
    It kind of put things in perspective for me, and woke me up.

    I think of her often, and with every event in my life since January 23, 1996 how she would have wanted to be a part of it. I am, however, glad that she wasn't around to witness my brother going through chemo treatments this past year. It would have destroyed her.

    As you know, I'm getting married in May. planning a quiet process, sort of a little lonely- My mom probably would have something to say about every aspect-and she would have made the most spectacular wedding gown for me.

    But you can bet I'll make it to the cemetery on January 23rd. It's just a little thing, but I have a “mom” ritual on that day- in my mind it's her day. After the cemetery, I have just one shot of Chivas- her favorite drink. I reflect and think of her. Just the way she said “Hi…” to me on the phone. So warm. So cozy. So mom. I still have that in my mind after 15 years.
    Like you, I count the days leading up, and after. Its my way of “working around it”.

    Reply

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