Sunday, May 04, 2008

Why I'm running today

I post-dated this entry for 9:30 a.m. Sunday, a time I hope to be in my final miles of this Flying Pig Marathon. The last month has been difficult to find any focus, in any aspect of my life. My mom is not doing so well, and for that, I found myself tremendously sad and even more helpless.

Many years ago, when I was still in elementary school, my mom had a first of several strokes at a young age, not much older than I am now. She's a fighter, so she recovered and returned to work and life, but emerged somewhat changed. Eleven years ago, she had another complication that resulted in a coma and long recovery. She fought back. Last summer, she had another battle, but she battled back within a season. Six weeks ago, she suffered another head injury, and now we're just hoping for the best -- every day is touch and go. We're also bracing for any possible outcome, but we're not willing to accept defeat.

So many parts of me was telling myself to quit this marathon, but other parts of me were telling me to do it for exactly the reasons why I shouldn't. I find myself here in Cincinnati today and I found the reasons why. I run here today because I share the hope my Dad has for her recovery and I should therefore try to continue to live my life. A vigil is just that, a wait till the end. Not me. I run here today because, well, simply because I'm running this for her. I run here because for me, running and marathoning are a celebration of life.

My brother is a follower of my blog and follows my running (probably this morning too) with keen interest. Every time he sees me, he asks me about my latest run, or my upcoming race. My father and mother know I run with a passion, and that's just good enough for them. A marathon, my dad asked the other day, you're going to do another one of those? I wanted to tell him about how hard it is to train, the early mornings, the hard runs, the amount of strength and dedication and devotion and time and effort and the miles -- oh the miles. I wanted to tell him that it's 42.2K and have him explain how far that would be, him the engineer, the mathematician. I think it'd dawn on him if I told him how LONG it was.

My brother and I are the centre of my mom's life. We know that. She lives for us. She's been through so many strokes and comas and each time we welcomed her back home, we knew we lost a little bit of her soul. But the person I choose to see is the mom on my second birthday you see in this picture. Carefree, loving, youthful and so happy to be alive.

I don't know how the emotions will bubble over as this post goes up at 9:30, but my sadness has hit me recently, at home and during my runs. On one run recently, I found myself in tears thinking of her, yet I was at a point at my most alive, heart beating, arms pumping, legs moving. Oh I wish she could see me, I think she'd be so proud. And so I run this race for my family, just for the four of us, and in the final miles, I hope to bring mom with me.


marie said...

What a beautiful and inspiring post.

Arcane said...

Sorry to hear about your mom. hoping that she recovers.

Unknown said...

Sorry to hear about your mom, Kenny. I hope that things work out for the best, whatever that might be. It sounds like you've had a long and bumpy road -- and your post was definitely an inspiring one. I wish I had read it earlier this morning before I did my own 10K (Bloom's charity run) -- maybe I would have gone a little faster :-)

Sonia said...

Your post left me teary. I hope your mom will get through this one as she did the others ones.

I think you did what you do best, run and you had great inspirations.

It's not easy to see our parents sick and feel helpless. I know how you feel as my dad had brain surgery in 2003. The key is to enjoy time together now... hang in there Kenny.

yumke said...

Thanks everyone for your kind words and wishes. I thought a lot before deciding to write about it. And it really helped me to get through the run thinking of her...