Thursday, April 7, 2011
Running Through Pain: Why I Must Keep Running
My plane traverses the country from Colorado to New Jersey. We fly into the darkening night as we move farther east. It feels symbolic of what is happening to my family. I've made this flight countless times, and this time I wonder if it will be one of my last. Four years ago I took this flight with my husband and 9 day-old daughter to attend my father's funeral. I knew then that life would begin changing much too fast for my comfort. Now I am off to visit my mother, seriously ill and terrified - thrust into the world of hospitals, and doctors, and tests, and tests, and tests...This faced by a seemingly healthy woman who has never been sick, never been in the hospital (except for childbirth), and looks and acts at least 20 years younger than she is. But cancer ignores all these facts.
These events have left me feeling sad and confused - How can I just go on living my life when my mother is going through all of this? It seems somehow inappropriate to go on doing the things that make me happy, while she is living in a world of abject terror. I look at my beautiful daughter and cry because someday she will die. I sit in the hospital and wonder if this is what awaits me in the not so distant future. When cancer hits, life as we know it, stops. Everything is focused on the war within your body. Your life is now arranged around appointments, and tests, and treatments - to what end? - you know not.
Everyone says: "use running for strength and peace", but my mother has none of that. Life goes on, I am told - but not for everyone - or anyone, really.
So why must I go on running?
Because I have to believe
Because knowing I gave everything, matters
Because of my daughter
Because of my mother
Because I have to try
Because it's more than just a run
Because when I do, there's always a chance...
And this I must tell myself everyday.
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