There are few things that impact us more then losing a person we love. Having gone through my second divorce, I think I can say that losing them in any way causes heartache. There is space that used to be filled with a bod. Now, it is just open space where memories are free to tumble around.
Death is probably the losing with the biggest impact.
The Big Word
I was eight when my friend, Shawn, passed away. My mouth was too little to work the big word “Leukemia” around in it. Instead, that word wormed its way into my brain to wait until I was old enough. I needed to learn and comprehend how the ache I felt translated into medical terms and procedures. At 20, I was old enough. I sat in the hospital with my best friend Michael, knowing that this would be the last time we would talk. He talked about how painful the bone marrow transplant had been. We laughed about antics we had been involved in during high school. We didn’t talk about the future I had that he wouldn’t.
Finding Team In Training
In 2005, and again in 2007, I ran a full marathon with the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. I ran in memory of Shawn and Michael. My first divorce finalized in 2004, and I was trying to figure out what to do with the new empty space that rattled my life when I started training for that first marathon. I found a new purpose in Team In Training. A way to process the emotions I didn’t know I was strong enough to face. I made friends and role-models along the way. Crossing the finish line of the Nike Women’s Marathon was of the most difficult, and rewarding, things I had done.
My second season, I became a mentor to other runners. I helped encourage them to train, found ways to raise money for Cancer research, and made even more friends. I started to write a blog about my adventures in running. This was abandoned shortly after I was diagnosed with cervical cancer in 2009.
All in the Timing
Strange to think of my marathon being 15 years ago. The itch to run again started to develop last year, and has been growing stronger for a few months.
In March, one of my students ended up in the hospital. That big word creeped out into my vocabulary again.
I’m looking over the Team In Training sites planning to sign up again to run. This time with another picture to put on my jersey. More memories to carry with me.
Call to Action
I love being a Book Boss and giving back to my community! April 11-15, I’m running a Book Drive for Primary Children’s Hospital. My focus is to help the School Service section get books and activities into the hands of the kids there. Did you realize that these kids are fighting for their life while trying to keep up with their peers? They worry about being behind in the curriculum. Between treatments and specialist visits they do school work when they feel up to it.
I need help! I’m looking for 250 sponsors who will donate $35 (or more) to help these kiddos. Each sponsor will be met with a donation so that each child will get $50 of books and activities. Will you help me by sponsoring a child?
Did this touch you deeper then just a sponsor? Would you like to partner with me in reaching others? I have messages and Facebook posts I can send you if you would be willing to take an active part in this book drive.
The official drive dates are from April 11-15. You can give money to the following:
Venmo: @ Jana-Patchett
Want to take a more active role? Please text me for more information at 801-430-9920