Life Lessons

Life sometimes steers us in directions we don’t intend to go. Other times we are on autopilot and where it takes us, we want to stay forever.

My grandmother passed away on March 20th. She was the sweetest grandmother. There were hardly ever any complaints coming from her mouth. From what I observed, her complaints consisted of a mere smile and a little giggle about the topic that was in question. I have no bad memories of Nana. She made the best butter rich cookies on the planet. She would always have the candy jars filled every time we would come visit her. She would help me with my game each spring, which consisted of counting robins. Why, I have no idea. She would tend to her garden in the warmer months. She’ll really be missed by a lot of people.

The last few days of her life, she really fought hard. Our family watched as she struggled. I had been told at one point, her BPM were at 119 and had been around that rate for a day. I put that into my own perspective. Back when I used a heart rate monitor to run marathons, my BPM would hover around 120-140 for much of the marathon. Nana was running a marathon…that lasted longer than I’d ever run one. I pray she wasn’t in pain. She is now with her parents and other loved ones, including my Papa.

The weekend my wife and I were scheduled to go visit my parents in Florida, we spent with my family. We mourned, but we also spent good, quality time together. It was a weekend that resembled holidays at our house. It was good, family, love.

Initially, when making our plans for Florida, I was excited to see that there was a trail marathon not far from where my parents stay down there. Without blinking an eye, I signed up for it. It was going to be a completely different type of marathon than I’d ever run before. One that could have included sand, pythons, and aligators. After the winter that we had, we were really looking forward to spending time with my parents in the warmth of Florida and running this marathon. It wasn’t meant to be. I contacted the race director to let him know I wasn’t going to make it. Life goes on.

After the weekend spending time with the family, I woke up Monday morning with a stomach virus, visiting the bathroom on multiple occasions. It was the worst I had felt in a long time…years. By Wednesday, it seemed I was feeling a little better, so I went for a 4 mile run. By the first mile, I was throwing up. This bug was sticking around for the long hall. Thursday seemed better, but by this past Friday, Nana’s funeral service, I was feeling sick again.

A while back, I remembered a marathon I had run called the Two River’s marathon. This was unique in that the director held a marathon for both Saturday and Sunday. You could run Saturday, Sunday, or in my case, both days. It was going to be a good challenge for me, and I love challenges. It was a weekend I had been looking forward to the entire winter. But when I woke up Friday morning, before Nana’s service, I decided to go for a 3 mile run. I felt sick the entire time and when I was finished, I was exhausted. After not having an appetite for much of the week, and still feeling sick, I decided to contact the race director to inform him that I wasn’t going to make both the Saturday and Sunday marathons. I was too wiped out. Life goes on.

Ironically enough, I woke up Saturday morning feeling the best I had felt in a week. I did go for a 6 mile run and felt good afterwards. I felt even better Sunday, so I decided to accept an invitation by my running friend, Gary, to explore the Conestoga Trail for 15 miles. A beautiful trail, with vistas and waterfalls, this trail is awesome. However, by mile 12, my body had had enough. The past weeks’ toll caught up to me. I was completely drained and had to sit and catch my breath multiple times. I was able to complete the 15 miles, but it seemed like I was running for a day straight without stopping…….

Maybe a glimpse of what my grandmother experienced during her last days. Life goes on.

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