I don’t often brag about my family on this blog, but I need to say this and who knows, maybe it will lift someone and motivate them to do something special in their own life. This morning I received a text from my sister that read “So, Mom walk/ran her first 5k this a.m.!! She did AWESOME!!”. I texted her back, asking if there were pictures and she replied that no, there weren’t because she (my sister) was crying too much. While running a 5k may not seem like a big deal to many people, for a 70-something year-old woman it’s a big deal, don’t you think?
Our mom has always been an active person. She is one of eight children that grew up on a busy farm (“the Farm” as we always called our grandparents’ place), was active in high school sports, a cheerleader in college, and got her bachelor’s degree in physical education. When I was a child, she was part of a bowling league (until she stopped bowling after she was told that just because she was better than other bowlers, doesn’t mean she should be the one winning all the trophies; it wasn’t fair to the other bowlers–yes, that mentality started in the 70’s, if not earlier), did yoga, belly-dancing (don’t ask; we didn’t), and, later in life, lots of walking. She was always busy with a home & garden, husband, 4 kids, a home business, her parents, and everything that goes along with being part of a huge, extended family. When she got older and all of us were out of the house, she was still active with family, business, and life in general, and she and Dad would go for walks, when they could.
Our Mom’s been traveling a long road that’s had some nasty turns, detours, and speed bumps and, believe me, my use of that metaphor is not meant to minimize any of her struggles. We all have our struggles and tragedies in life, just like we have our sweet times and triumphs. How we deal with them–that is the question. Our mom has dealt with her circumstances and grief after the losses in her life not by wallowing in self-pity or giving up on life, although she did withdraw a bit for a time and, like rest of us, still has her “moments”. Instead, she has relied on her strong faith in God to keep her going, has continued cleaning houses and occasionally watching her grandchildren, taken classes to become a Licensed Nursing Assistant, gotten herself an apartment near her much-loved ocean and found a job with an agency through which she helps other seniors in their homes. And then there’s today, when she did her first 5k!
I could go on about how proud I’ve also been of my brothers and sisters–and their children–for their accomplishments, as well, (marathons, triathlons, various running and biking races, other sports, etc.), but today it’s all about Mom. We are so proud of you–who you are and all you’ve accomplished and are continuing to do, in spite of all that you’ve been through and continue to deal with. As you know, we all love you so much. And I’m sure that, if we can glimpse our loved ones from up in heaven, Dad, among many others, is surely smiling down at you.