Catie Gibbons wrote -
Inspiring positivity, courage and gratitude in young adult cancer fighters through the gift of outdoor adventure and community.
It's hard to imagine that another fall without my Mom is here. Although time certainly heals, there is not a day or a moment that I do not think of her or miss her tremendously. As time passes, I only become more deliberate in my efforts to keep her alive in my daily moments, thoughts, and actions.
My mother had an incredible warmth about her and fire within her. She lived passionately every day. She made sure that we were loved fiercely. She showed kindness and compassion to those she knew well, and those whom she had just met. She was the ultimate giver in time, energy and love. She taught us all that we should believe in and love ourselves, that we should be kind and compassionate, that we should trust our instincts and take chances and hold ourselves to the highest standard.
Following my mother’s death in February 2013, I created the Queen’s Army in memory of her. My mother was a person that sought to help others and my sister Megan and I, along with a number of our closest family and friends, chose to run with the American Cancer Society’s DetermiNation to help raise money for cancer research, treatment and help for those families dealing with cancer. We ran the Chicago Marathon in 2013, again in 2014, and in 2015 continued with the Chicago Marathon.
This year, I will tackle the Portland Marathon while raising money and awareness of the Send It Foundation - an organization that creates outdoor adventures for young adult cancer fighters.
Why marathons? Why all of this running? Running gives me time and space with my Mom. She wasn't much of a runner, but I know she flies with me now on my runs. I see her in the long lines of painted trees that cover the roads or in the birds soaring above me in the fall sky. I meet her in my thoughts and find that in the hours I spend out on the trails, I feel a calmness with her around me. Life can be so busy, and it is in these moments, these moments I cherish so deeply, that I find peace and calm with my Mom.
A marathon is a challenge. It is a commitment. It is an experience. My Mom would say that all three of those things are important to keep in your life, to continue to grow and be reminded of the strength and power we all have within us. Although she is gone from us here on earth, I find that in the time I take to feel her within myself, I continue to learn more from her each day.
In running I reminded constantly to get out there, go after it, live each day to the fullest, spread kindness and positivity...to SEND IT. www.senditfoundation.org