As I examine the influences in my life, some of the greatest over the years has been my family. As a young child, it was obviously my parents and my grandparents. As an adult it is my children. When I see them together it touches me. My children were with my grandparents over the Memorial holiday weekend as 4 generations sat in a tiny little house weathering a storm on Sunday night in Southern Illinois. It was bittersweet for me because I am not sure how many more of those opportunities will come. As life takes its natural course my grandparents are aging and I am lucky that they are still with me.
Unfortunately, my grandfather may not be for long as he is battling lymphoma. He is in the 2nd year of this horrible disease and his health has deteriorate progressively. Unfortunately, due to his heart and his age there is nothing that can really be done to treat his cancer. This is both understandable and yet horribly frustrating that he is in a position to just wither away, struggling with symptoms and being shifted in and out of the hospital.
If anyone knows anything about “The Greatest Generation” then they know that my grandfather is a proud man. A silent man never prone to complain or bring attention to himself. He would not fuss or bother anyone with the details of his illness or the pain he feels or the fact that he can not plant his beloved garden this year or take care of grandma the way he wants to. There is a silent determination, perseverance and dignity about his character.
I have often said that during this time of transition in my life I am praying for grace, dignity and strength. I look to someone like my grandfather who had to leave school in the 8th grade to care for his mom and 8 siblings because his alcoholic father abandoned them. He fought in WWII. He raised 3 children while staying married to the same woman, who he continues to love and care for, for almost 70 years. He has had 2 quadruple bypass surgeries and has black lung due to long hours in the coal mines of Southern Illinois. Now as he battles Lymphoma, he handles it as he has the other transitions in his life. I hope that I can embody half the grace, dignity and strength as he does.
He is my inspiration as I join The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s (LLS) Team In Training to raise money to battle the disease my grandfather and countless others face everyday. I will be competing in the Nike Women’s Half Marathon in San Francisco this fall.
My story is one of lofty ambition and gritty determination as up to the beginning of March, I had never ran in my life. But life has a way of helping us get off the couch andmoving, which led me to my 1st 5K run with only 4 wks of training. That’s when I learned about Team In Training and what a wonderful organization it is and how supportive they are to the participants. And how incredible is it that I can be personally involved in helping fight my grandfather’s disease by running!
This will be my first Half Marathon event, which is over twice the distance of my original goal I set for the Fall, a 10K. But after meeting with my Team In Training Coach and thinking about my grandfather seeing pictures of me cross the finish line, I knew I had to do it this Fall, I could not wait!
I am humbly asking that you visit My Fundraising Page HERE and make a donation. I need to raise $4000 by September and as of today I have funded myself $100. That’s it. What ever the amount may be $5 or $20 or $100. It will all be appreciated and go to such a worthy cause.
I will be attaching a permanent link to my blog to allow My Fundraising Page to be accessed at any time so you can see my progress through out the summer.
Thank you! Thank you for being such a supportive community! I could not do this without you!