Hi there.

First, thanks for the capri suggestions!

Today is April 19th. On this day 17 years ago, a 25-year-old me was holding my 29-year-old husband’s hand as he took his last breath. I still feel my heart skip a beat when I say (or type) that statement. (For those of you who don’t know the story, he was diagnosed with stage 3 Melanoma in 1998 and 10 months later, it took his life).

I'm wearing his favorite sweatshirt today. The photos on the right are from a trip we took to the Grand Canyon in 1997

I’m wearing his favorite sweatshirt today. The photos on the right are from a trip we took to the Grand Canyon in 1997

I had 2 choices in the aftermath—stay frozen with grief or fight my way through it. I definitely had some frozen days but I fought each day for small accomplishments—getting out of the house for a bit, showering, even cooking myself a meal. Never did I think I’d accomplish feats as big as completing a marathon. I won’t forget for one second the tough days, the sadness, the emptiness or the pain I felt for so many years (yes, years!). But I also won’t forget the feeling of pride, completion and happiness as I made strides in getting back to living…..especially culminating in one of my biggest accomplishments of crossing the finish line of my first marathon which might have never happened if I didn’t have that grief to fight through. The best way to honor those we’ve lost is to live a life as full and authentic as we can. I’m grateful for Lisa who peaked my interest in running and encouraged me through those early miles as I found my new identity. And now I’m a “master” and I find myself sharing my story to help and inspire others who might feel that hopelessness.

I ran 4.19 miles last night in his memory. Ironically he hated running. I remember one evening I suggested we go to the park and run because I was trying to lose weight and his friend Stuart who was with us that evening wanted to do the same. Dickey didn’t want any part of it. His stance was unless someone was chasing you there was no reason to run. But he went with us anyway and ended up becoming our drill sergeant keeping us motivated. Running was effortless for him. Figures. He didn’t even want to run and he was good at it.

Run done

Run done

Rest in Peace Mr. Stilwell

Rest in Peace Mr. Stilwell

Normally I like to round up my mileage and I would have stopped at 4.25 but I stayed at 4.19 for April 19th. :) I decided to try for a 9:45 pace in preparation of my goal pace for the NJ Half Marathon in 12 days. The first 2 miles were fairly close at 9:43 and 9:49 but then, as hard as I tried, my next 2 miles were 10:03. Unfortunately this run made me angry and frustrated. I remembered why I hate to make time goals for races. I wanted to kick myself for declaring to the world that I wanted to finish sub 2:10. So I’m officially chickening out. I’m taking the pressure off before it really gets put on. Maybe I’m just being a coward but the last thing I want to do is make the next 2 weeks stressful. I want to enjoy my running days and not beat myself up when I don’t hit those paces.

Duncan is shooting for goals himself. Getting lazier and cuter before the end of the week. #NailedIT!

Lazier by May

Lazier by May

Cuter by May

Cuter by May

Have you lost anyone close? Spouse? Parent? Friend? Would love for you to share a memory about them in the comments

3 Comments

  1. Hi Sally! I haven’t commented in a while but I’m still a faithful reader. I lost a friend to brain cancer 4 years ago and I love what you said about honoring them by living a full and authentic life, it is so true. He had the dryest sense of humor of anyone I know and that was my favorite thing about him, and he was definitely not a runner either but I have dedicated quite a few of my runs to him. Thanks for sharing your story and sorry this got so long!

    • Thanks Leslie! I love knowing I have loyal readers out there. A good, dry sense of humor is hard to come by. Sorry for your loss.

  2. I need to bite the bullet and try a pair of these capris. They are getting rave reviews all over the place, and I love all the pockets.

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