The last few months have been an emotional roller coaster! You know when so many good things happen, that you’re just waiting for something bad to happen? For a little while you believe that everything is going to stay perfect. Your own version of what’s perfect. And then you wake up and the “bad thing” happens. And you’re reminded that life isn’t always fair.
Let’s talk about the good. And there is a lot of it.
Patrick and I are getting married, so naturally we are both pretty stoked about it. The outpour of love from family and friends surrounded us in the form of letters, gifts, phone calls, and so much happiness. I felt like I was floating through life for the weeks after we got engaged.
Planning a wedding
Oh the joys of planning a wedding! Said no one ever. Wedding planning is stressful, but once the big vendors are knocked out, you can take a breathe of fresh air and go back to the floating feeling you had before. And, you find yourself getting excited about things you never thought you particularly cared for. I can honestly say I am excited about the venue, band, food, photographer, florist, wedding website, and decorations we have planned.
Houston Marathon Ambassador
I was selected as a 2018 Houston Marathon Ambassador! As if getting married wasn’t enough fun for one year, but now I get to help promote my favorite race of the year with a group of other ambassadors that share the same love for running and the Houston community. As a relatively newbie runner, getting selected made me feel prettttttty good. PS. It’s not too late to join me, register here!
Writing for Fitt
Ever since starting miles with Molly, I realized that I really like to write. When I was obsessively searching for jobs on indeed.com, I came across a freelance job for Fitt Houston. They needed a writer that is involved in fitness/healthy activities in the Houston area. So that’s me! I’ve only written a few posts (because WEDDING PLANNING), but the website launches soon! And being paid anything to write about the things you love to do is nice.
Wills Hills HS Summer Program
Throughout the year I run with a group at Spott’s Park called Wills Hills. We meet M/W/F at 5:30am for all sorts of fun, running workouts. Hills, speed, distance etc. Going to Wills Hills is usually the best part of any day. I talked to Will about helping with his High School summer program, which meets after the adult group. One thing led to another and now I am Coach Molly three days a week! You can find me yelling words of encouragement to sweaty, fast kiddos as they charge up hills. And sending out social media blasts and email reminders for practice too!
Girls on the Run Greater Houston
After making a career change last year, I had this idea that I wanted to work for a non-profit. I wanted to work somewhere that lit a fire under me. Somewhere that inspired me to be better and to help other people be better. When I heard about a job opening at Girls on the Run Greater Houston I was immediately excited. I went through the interview process and am excited to say i’m the newest addition to the team as the Communications and Database Manager! It really felt like everything I had done in the last six months led me to this position. And I happen to also love inspiring young girls to be joyful, healthy, and confident. Let’s just say the fire under me is burning strong!
And now to the bad stuff.
Then on a Saturday (the week after I started my new job) I woke up and as I was moving my legs out of bed, I noticed something was off with my left knee. My left knee that had Juvenile Rheumatory Arthritis when I was 5. And flared up again when I was 10. And again when I was 13. And again when I was in college. The knee that would prevent me from running.
I immediately had what one may call a panic/sob attack. I could see the long road that was ahead.
The last time my knee swelled up I was in college. Luckily the problem went away in under a year. And the symptoms were controlled for most of that year with a lot of medicine. The doctor did not reach a diagnosis that time, so when my knee wasn’t swelling and I didn’t need any medicine, I stopped going back.
I started to call to make an appointment with a specialist. It was mid-May at this time and the earliest I could get into most places was mid-July. Cool. *Insert rant* I found a doctor out in Pasadena (roughly 40 minutes away) that could see me sooner. After a few visits, many x-rays, and many tests. There is little to no conclusion as to what is going on. My knee seems to swell up after walking for long periods of time and to revert at random times. Always a little swollen. Always refraining from running. New medications and treatments at every appointment.
Suddenly my plans for signing up for new races vanished. My run groups continued on without me. Because so much of my social life is tied up into running, I felt left behind. I had all these ambitions and goals related to running and just like that, they all halted. I know I’m not alone on this. Any athlete with an injury feels this way. But it still sucks. Since this is likely an auto-immune disorder, I’m also left thinking that this is something that is going to keep coming back. And probably at inconvenient times.
I thought to myself, would I swap out any of the good to replace this one “bad?” No, I decided. Having all those good things was still worth a problematic knee.
Amidst all of this. My parents were still in town and had left to go visit their parents in the suburbs of Detroit. There was an accident while my Dad was with his Mom (my Grandma Lydia) at a convenience store. She fell and hit her head.
Those words felt heavy to type.
She passed away two days later surrounded by family in a hospital room. June 3rd, 2017.
Suddenly my knee didn’t really matter at all anymore. My Grandma Lydia was gone. Just like that. It felt weird to see her name on the recent calls on my phone. A few days later I received my birthday card from her in the mail, she must have just mailed it. Always a Papyrus card and always in impeccable handwriting. I was ordering the Save the Dates for the wedding because life keeps moving. I had to delete her name from the address print list on my excel sheet. With the other realization, that she won’t be attending the wedding in November. The grief keeps coming in sporadic waves.
It’s not fair that she has to be “deleted” out of life. But we all know life isn’t fair.
As I processed this, I had the other realization that she was a very old lady. 86 years old. She lived in a nursing home. And that people die in nursing homes all the time. She was also going to have a very critical surgery in June, in the mean time she had to wear a neck brace. But, I never saw her they way you are probably picturing her. I just saw her as my Grandma Lydia. She liked red wine and chocolate. She told odd stories at odd times. She came to every one of my dance recitals in High School (flying in from Michigan). She loved to read. She had just visited in December, before my parents moved to Bangkok. We taught her how to FaceTime. She was really excited that I was a substitute teacher and considering becoming a teacher – she taught High School English. She was teacher of the year at her school. She liked to make sure she had a fresh coat of lipstick on before taking a photo. She survived lung cancer. She travelled the world. She loved me a lot. And it hurts to lose someone you love.
You’d think it would get easier to write this. I’ve been putting it off for so long. But so far, it hasn’t gotten any easier. It’s hard to lose someone you love.
There are so many ups and downs ahead in life. Continuing to figure out my knee. Continuing to work towards new, exciting goals. And so many more that are unknown.
While I’m guilty of sulking over things I can’t change. I’d like to end this with a reminder to enjoy every day as best you can. My Grandma Lydia sure did.
* 1986 – My mom with Grandma Lydia and Grandpa Raymond ** Grandma with my Aunt Nancy *** 2014 – Me and Grandma Lydia