Thursday, December 27, 2012


In marriage there are many “firsts”.

A first kiss, a first fight, a first child. And, unfortunately, a first major tragedy.

On December 16th, our phone rang at 1:00 a.m. with the terrible news that my mother-in-love had passed away from a massive heart attack. She was one week shy of her 62nd birthday. She had no major health complications. It came as a major shock.

The best Grandmother in the world! (1950-2012)

It is so hard to even imagine life without Grandmother. I’ve only been in the family 14 years come January, and I am going to miss her terribly. I can’t imagine the pain my husband and sister-in-law will face. It will be a first to experience anything of this magnitude with my husband and my children. Grandmother was the apple of their eye.

This experience gives me new insight into older folks or elders. They are wise. But not just in knowledge, also in life experiences, much like this one we are going through. They know that no one can take the place of a mother. They know our lives are forever changed. They know the pain in the coming days ahead. And they hurt for us because they know we will never be the same.

I’m reminded again that death is unpredictable and inevitable. We assume tomorrow will come. We are never prepared for death. We are never ready to say goodbye.

I’m also reminded to be more thoughtful when people lose a loved one. It is hard to know what to say or do, but do something. Those small acts of kindness are never forgotten. Never assume people are too busy to see you or take a call from you. It matters.

Another first for me was living out this tragedy on social media. Not just for me, but my sister-in-law, husband, and most of all my daughter were connected to a larger group of people all feeling our pain with us. Long standing friends and coworkers of my mother-in-law “friended” us on facebook to express their sadness and to “meet” the people they had always heard her speak so fondly about. All of a sudden, brought together by tragedy, we were connected.  

Consoling brokenhearted children proved to be our hardest “first”.  Children feel the sadness but are not sure how to articulate it. Therefore it comes spewing out in the strangest places, usually at a sibling or parent. As if our hearts were not already broken, this heaviness was almost too much to bare. 

And, to add insult to injury, we have already survived her first birthday and Christmas without her. Needless to say, it wasn't the same. But we made time to enjoy each other and savor the family connection. 

Firsts. Sometimes they are a new adventure, but sometimes they are just hard.

‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” Revelation 21:4

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

One Bite at a Time...

I'm sitting here trying to catch my breath and my legs are tingling just a bit.

I just walked 1.5 miles. That is a small step towards a bigger goal.

500 miles. That is my walking goal for the year. After todays walk, I'm at 4.75 miles for the year. :)

Last year around this time, one of my facebook friends challenged all her friends to do 500 miles in 2012. It could be walking, running, biking, etc. She is a personal trainer and had put together a 500-mile club. We could join, get a t-shirt, and she would send us daily encouragement.

I wanted to join really bad, I knew I needed it. But I did not. My excuse was the commute back and forth to work. It was eating away most of my extra time.
In March 2010, I ran my first half marathon. I've not run one since.
 While training for that race, I lost 50 lbs. I kept most of it off until this past year. 
On December 4th of this year, that same friend posted she had completed 700 miles for the year.

Honestly, I hadn't given the 500 miles much thought since she had posted a year prior. But, when I saw her 700 mile post, it hit me:

Had I taken the challenge one year ago, I would not be 20 pounds heavier. 

Yep, 20 pounds. That is what I gained in 2012 - maybe more.

When I realized this, I told myself that was enough. I would do 500 miles in 2013 and I would start now! I would not wait until January 1st because I was motivated right now!

Believe it or not, I had been praying for God to motivate me. I wanted to be motivated like I used to be. Once you catch the fitness bug, it becomes addicting. You love it! It makes you feel strong mentally and physically...or at least that is how I felt the last time I was in shape.

Since my evenings are unpredictable with kid activities and family commitments, I decided I would use half of my lunch hour to walk. Thirty minutes. What could I get done in 30 minutes? Whatever it was, it was more than I was currently doing, which was N.O.T.H.I.N.G!! The game plan was/is to keep it simple. I would walk in whatever I was wearing, only changing into my tennis shoes. Otherwise, it would get complicated and I would not have enough time to do much.

I started walking on December 5th. One mile, sometimes one and a half is what I can completed in my 20-30 minutes. Regardless how small the miles, the important thing is I'm moving. I'm waking up my metabolism! (It seems to go to sleep after a hysterectomy.) I'm taking small steps towards a larger goal.

You know what they say...The best way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time! :)

Pray that I will continue to be motivated. My health depends on it.

1 Corinthians 6:19-20: Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God?  You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies. 

To read more about what stopped my running two years ago, see a previous post here. 

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