Okay. I am busy as ever right now, and I probably should be sleeping (considering the fact it’s about 1AM and I have to work tomorrow…oh, but wait! What’s that…school work? Deadlines? Ah, right. Obviously this is the perfect time to spill what’s on my mind).
So yes, why I am writing a blogpost when I should be sleeping (er, studying)? I do not know.
What I DO know… is this –I just had one of the most incredible weekends (okay, more like 36 hours) with my parents (read: mom and stepdad, Gerry). And I am beyond grateful.
And if you’ve been reading my blog for a while… you should know that I blog pretty much when I feel inspired. I don’t just write a blogpost for the heck of it. I write because I have something to say. And right now? I feel inspired. So even if it’s nearing 1 in the morning, I want to capture some thoughts on why I am grateful.
You see, my mom has been sick since the Fall of 2006. With what? The universe does not know. The doctors do not know. They have run every test in the book. I kid you not. She’s visited doctors in multiple states. Even the Cleveland Clinic. Nowadays, when she gets her yearly physical, she half-way expects to hear the same news my aunt heard back in March of 2008. Thankfully, this has never been the case. But my mom has voiced that she almost wishes that the doctors would give her a definitive answer, just so she can know. So she can give whatever the hell it is that is ailing her… a name. And come up with a kickass way to fight back.
Over the years, she has suffered from quite a few digestive issues. First, they thought she had Celiac Disease. Then they retracted that diagnosis and claimed she had a gluten intolerance. Now? They aren’t so sure.
“Maybe it’s just wheat.”
“We are placing you on a ‘low-residue’ diet.”
“You’re body doesn’t absorb fats properly.”
And most recently, “you are lactose-intolerant.” (She’s realized this one is spot-on, though).
Thankfully, my mom has a wonderful team of doctors. And they have slowly but surely tailored a very specific diet for her to follow. In all honesty, though, it makes me so sad (soooo sad) to see a woman who used to be so carefree with food… a woman who never had to even consider what ingredients made up a food item… to now have to meticulously read labels, avoid eating things because they contain garlic, or not dig into the breadbasket while out at dinner.
To me, food is pleasureful. Something to be enjoyed. Granted, my mother has never expressed to me that these restrictions have taken the enjoyment out of food (cuz let me tell ya, my mom sure can be the life of the party… especially with her laugh!), but I know that if I were in her shoes? I would feel very trapped to have restrictions like that.
That’s my mom, though.
She is always able to find the good in a situation. And over the years, I have thankfully taken this quality on myself. Because let me tell you, we have both been through hell and back. (One of these days, I will share with you my story). If it were not for my mothers strength, I would not be the person I am today. And I am grateful for that.
So with that, I want to take some time to share other things I am grateful for at the moment. (Feel free to bypass this post if you hate cheesiness. I won’t be offended).
I am grateful for my boyfriend.
This weekend has been wonderful. Absolutely wonderful. Nevertheless, when my parents left earlier tonight to head back to their hotel (they’re makin’ their way to South Florida in the AM and wanted to be closer to the highway), I felt a sense of sadness come over me. I know it’s irrational, but there are times when I visit with my mom, that I wonder if it’s the last time I’ll see her “healthy” (read: not diagnosed with a terminal-illness). This stems from 3 years ago when I suddenly lost both my aunt and my uncle within weeks of each other. I won’t be seeing my family at Christmas (we’re flyin’ out to Arkansas to spend the Holiday with Ryan’s family!), so today was the last time I’ll see them until after the New Year.
Knowing this, I sunk into the couch after the front door closed and felt my heart just ache. I couldn’t even keep the feeling inside. I started to cry — tears streaming down my face. Before I knew it, Ryan had his arms wrapped around me in a big hug, just holding me… and I was sobbing. Like, legitimately sobbing. (Cue mascara tears and hair matted to my cheeks. I’m sure I was a mess). He let me sink into his chest, and through the tears, I realized… I felt comforted. Letting out such emotion felt – in a word — freeing.
I know my parents won’t be around forever, and I am finally beginning to feel “okay” with this realization (morbid, I know, but these are the things you think about when you were raised as an “only child”and have parents who are 71 and (almost) 66 years old).
I’ve always been scared of never having anyone to relive and share memories with of my parents. Because my step- and half- siblings are *way* older than me, I’m not terribly close with them. In fact, we never even shared the same roof during the time I was in my formative, childhood years. As a result, we have no shared memories. They have their memories, and I have mine. But they do not coincide. There are no “remember when…?”-fests to rehash during family get-togethers.
Thankfully, though, I have Ryan.
And I have come to realize that Ryan acts as that bridge for me…from my past, into my future. He and I have shared memories of all of us together, and even though they’re limited, I can “remember-when…?” all I want for years to come with this guy.
Okay, so I realize this post is forever and a day long, but I have a few more things I am grateful for that I want to touch on…
I am grateful for the ability to run.
My marathon is less than a month away, and I know I just posted about how amazing this running season is because I have had zero injuries… but it looks like I did not knock on enough pieces of that damn wood. Turns out, a big ‘ole piece of cement got in my way during one of my runs 2 weeks ago, and I ended up falling straight onto the top of my knee (the patella, if you will).
What makes this even better? Is the fact that I hit the pavement running UP a hill. Yes, I am serious. And yes, I realize I have some awesome skills to accomplish that feat.
Thankfully, Ryan was home when I got back from my run…and upon hearing me sniffling at the front door, came to my aide with Band-Aids and rubbing alcohol (youch…).
I’m pretty sure he thought I had broken my leg by the amount of waterworks I had turned on. (Random question… does anyone else only make a big fuss over something petty when they know they have an audience? Because on my journey home from the fall, I was merely pissed over the fact that I fell running up a hill. It wasn’t until I walked in the door that I started to whine and cry. But this also may be due to the fact that I wanted to look “tough” to the randos out and about on the sidewalk. I hate pity. From people except Ryan… I guess? Don’t judge me).
ANYWAY. Ryan, being the gentleman that he is, oh-so-casually offered to grab my camera and snap a few pictures despite my protesting. He said “oh c’mon, you know you will want to blog about this…” And yep. He was right.
I present to you…. Me. In all of my fallen-glory
Anyway, I spent the rest of that day Googling and WebMDing “will I ever run again??!!?” and “OMG did I break my kneecap????” That’s when I learned that yes, I should be able to run once the pain stopped, and no, because I could walk just fine and there was zero swelling and zero bruising (only lots and lots of blood, yummmm), I did not “break crack my patella.” Awesome.
So with that, I took a week off from running, ran a 20miler last Friday just dandy (7 days after the fall)… gave my knee a rest for another full week, and busted out a 13miler early yesterday morning.
My knee feels pretty much A-Okay now, and I am hoping to resume “normal running” this week.
I have another 20-miler scheduled for this coming weekend, and to be honest, I’m going to play it by ear. I’m confident I can run the marathon distance, so I am just going to focus on listening to my body and cross-training to be on the safe-side. To me, “listening to your body” entails giving yourself a full, one-week period of rest after the last time you felt pain (ie. go pain-free for an entire week. Talk about easier said than done…).
So if I still have yet to feel any pain this upcoming weekend? Then great, I’ll give the 20-miler a go. But if not? Well, there’s no point in putting excess stress on my knee for long-run milage when I have the actual marathon in the very near future, even if my knee is feeling good. Training plans are never perfect. That’s why you just gotta sit back, tell your mind to shut up, and trust your training.
Yesterday, my momma and I bought myself a brand, spankin’-new swimsuit suitable for… (get this) swimming. I’m pretty sure the only suits I own are bikini’s, as my highschool swim team swimsuits are long-gone. I’m stoked to utilize the YMCA pool more in the months to come. In fact, my friend Troy and I are going to partake in some “underwater running” sometime this week. He has a marathon in two weeks (ish?) and he’s now officially in taper-mode. I would pay good money to watch us try and run underwater. I’m sure it’s guaranteed to be a laugh-fest.
I am grateful for the opportunity to pursue my MPH from Chapel Hill. I know I’ve said it before, but I love the people I have gotten to know through my classes.
Sure, I pull many-a-late night, but ohhh man, is it ever worth it. I live and breathe this stuff, and I know I have a very fulfilling career awaiting me in the years to come.
I am grateful for the month of October. First off, this month is the kick-off to the the Holiday season (yesssss). Secondly, this is one of the few months of the year I get to visit with my parents. That right there makes October pretty amazing in and of itself.
But there’s more to it than that.
This month also calls for a lot of celebration. Not only did I meet Ryan three years ago (come October 23rd). but one year ago this past weekend, Ryan and I randomly decided to spend an afternoon at the humane society… and stumbled across this little nugget…
And I’m sure you all know by now how that little outing ended.
That’s right. She owns our souls. And rules our household. And I sure am grateful she’s graced us with her presence. Even if she can be a Little Miss Bossypants at times.
Well, now that I wrote about 2.5 novels in one blogpost, my brain feels free and clear and ready to tackle my assignments. Oh, and of course, sleep.
What are some random things you are grateful for? Have you ever felt better after a “good cry.” Has anyone in your family ever suffered from an undiagnosed illness? Have you ever bit the pavement?