Wednesday, August 5, 2015

2015 Chicago Half Marathon

My amazing parents ran their SECOND half marathon last week - and Matt and Kelly ran their FIFTH!  I've run the half the past two years (including last year while pregnant!) but decided to sit this year out due to our special new addition.  :)  Next year?  Maybe...

This year's festivities started on Saturday afternoon, with the traditional pre-race carbo-loading at our house.  Last year, the same group got together at Matt and Kelly's house, but this year, we were excited to host!  

It was an early night, because our crew had a 5am (!!) wakeup call to head to the city.  After dropping my parents off, we parked and headed to a Starbucks to caffeinate.  We originally planned to split an Iced Coffee - but the sweet barista surprised us with a free Iced Carmel Macchiato - she apparently made one too many and gave it to us.  (Yep, it was delicious).  

We saw my parents at mile 3.5 and 4, and we saw Matt, Kelly and Kelly's younger sister Olivia at mile 4.  Then we snuck away for air conditioning and breakfast (we were trying to keep JSS out of the sun as much as possible) before heading to the finish line.  We saw all five of our runners around mile 12.5 - just as they were approaching the finish line.

One special new addition this year was that Jacob and I made some signs to cheer on our runners :)  They didn't know about them ahead of time, so the surprise was extra fun.  We got a LOT of attention from runners - Scott holding Jacob, me holding a sign.  Super fun :)   And of course JSS was dressed thematically in an I <3 Gramps onesie!

Seeing these athletes run 13 miles in the time that - literally - it took us to get Starbucks and brunch... well, it was very inspiring.  It made me want to get up and run, and I love showing Jacob that physical fitness matters.

So proud of all of the runners this year, but especially the ones in my family!

Sunday, May 24, 2015

15 years

(Originally written in early April, and I'm only now getting around to posting it.  A casualty of my sweet new life).


I sit in my dark living room, holding my newborn son, as the clock ticks toward midnight. His father is in the next room over, having just turned in after doing the early shift with our 15 day old boy, a child so young that he prefers the comfort of his parents warm arms to his cold crib. 


My life changed in a moment, or more accurately, in a series of moments in March.  Our son was born, and with him, a mother was born of me.  Barely two weeks in,  and I am starting to grasp the significance, only the tip of it perhaps, but the sacred privilege - and the responsibility - weighs heavily on my mind. 

I am lost in thought, about the gravity of it all- who will he be? Who am I? How will his life change mine?


I don't know how to answer those questions, yet, but I know that I'll spend every day I have left working towards them.  I will devote my life to being a good mother - the kind of mother that my sweet Jacob deserves.  I hope the days I have left are numerous, that I dance at his wedding and meet his children and grandchildren.   I will do everything in my power to extend my days on earth, so that I have more time with him.  


Mike Maloney died 15 years ago today, or tomorrow as the clock hasn't quite struck midnight. He died at 52, leaving behind three children, the oldest of whom was only 15.  I do believe that he loved us, in his own way, but he left having never seeing us as adults, never meeting our spouses or holding our children.

He didn't choose to die, exactly, but he didn't work to extend his life, either.  The choices he made rattle me more now than ever before.


I am a new mother, having barely two weeks under my belt, but this disconnect feels raw, painful.  How do you make choices that are so at odds with your children's needs? How do you behave so terribly to the mother of your babies?  These questions frustrate me, because he's not here to ask. 

I turn back toward my son, my beloved, so hoped-for child, and kiss his forehead, in silent thought.  A prayer of love, a pledge of sacred obligation, a familiar pang of remembrance for this baby that has only been in my arms for two weeks.


But there's something else there, too, that I can't put my finger on.  It's not forgiveness, exactly, although I do feel that sometimes.  Acceptance, maybe?  Hope?  Maybe it's just belief that I can - and will - be different than that for my child, and that in this way Mike - and his death -  have taught me something about myself.