As many of you know, my Mom survived an anoxic brain injury that left her handicapped in 2015. Each day she faced new challenges, but her courage, strength and the smile on her face never wavered. Meanwhile, I was lost and struggling to adapt to my Mom’s condition. I kept asking myself why I couldn’t be even a little bit as strong as my Mom. Then I found Spaulding and their family support group which helped me accept this new “normal.” I was even lucky enough to run on their 2016 Race for Rehab Boston marathon team. I quickly became close friends with Shelley as we shared our family stories and shed a lot of tears together.
You’ve probably heard this from me a million times by now: I still get goosebumps when I think about running down Boylston Street, but not because I actually finished the marathon or because I caught up with Shelley on heartbreak hill and crossed the finish line together. It’s because I felt this tremendous weight of sadness lifting off of my shoulders and like I finally had a little bit of my Mom’s strength. I remember thinking, “I hope someday I can package this feeling and give it to someone who is going through a difficult time so they know they can get through it, just like I did.” But now I’m writing to tell you that I need to hold onto this package, just for a little bit longer.
My Mom unexpectedly passed away in July 2017. Once again, I am struggling to process my grief and adapt to this loss. However, this time I realize the support I have from each of you. Spaulding continues to help me through my grief and is providing me the opportunity to be a member of their 2018 marathon team. In addition, I’m very fortunate that when I told Shelley I was going to run the marathon again, she didn’t hesitate to sign-up to be my side to help me process my grief one step at a time.
I’m so grateful for your support, and for you taking the time to read my family’s story. Maybe you sent cards, flowers or just remembered to ask how my Mom was doing or if my family needed anything.
I look forward to once again running down Boylston Street. I know my Mom will be watching over me, with her unwavering smile, giving me the strength to cross the
finish line in her memory.
From the bottom of my heart, thank you.
Friends + Family - thank you for the constant support through this year's fundraising and marathon training. As I look back on the last marathon and the opportunity to meet Lori, she taught me how to find my inner strength and has become a great friend. I am privileged to run this year's Boston Marathon with Lori in honor of her mother.
I will also be running this year's marathon for my older sister, Jen. She has balanced a challenging health diagnosis, being a mom/wife and her career. She does it all and finds the strength to be positive and move forward.
Finally, I will be running for my childhood best friend, Kristina. She has faced the ultimate challenge over the past year and day in, day out, has kicked cancer's butt! You find your strength and show everyone around you how to find his or hers.
Thank you all so much!