Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Why I run…

I think I briefly mentioned a few months ago that J and I are training for a marathon next month. Did you read that correctly? NEXT MONTH. This means that our conversations around our house these days revolve around what type of Gu packet we’ll try for this week’s training run, our latest strategy for staying on pace, and chafing issues (ahh, so romantic.)

Also, I might not have mentioned around this little corner of the internet, but I’m also pregnant. So, I’ll be running said marathon well into my second trimester. And, when people find out I’m running this marathon I get shocked looks and aghast faces, so I’ve begin to tell them that in addition to running a marathon, I’m raising money to fight lung cancer, and these are the reasons why….

  • I run because I am tired of seeing parents lose children; spouses lose their partners, and children losing their parents earlier than they should.
  • I run because I continue to feel the pain of losing Andy, and cannot even comprehend how Jen feels about losing her husband, my Aunt & Uncle feel at losing their youngest son, and my cousin feels about losing his only brother.
  • I run to teach Daisy that one person can make a difference.
  • I run to spend my Saturday mornings with the love of my life, endlessly discussing our hydration levels, books we hope to read, and counting our lucky stars that we have each other.
  • I run so that my daughters do not know the sadness that cancer brings.
  • I run because Andy will never have an opportunity to teach Nicholas all the Red Sox stats he memorized.
  • I run because friends of friends will email me about their recent battle with lung cancer.
  • I run because through Andy’s 53-week battle with cancer, he inspired me with his courage, tenacity and passion.
  • I run because lung cancer CAN strike the young, healthy and strong; in other words, those who have done absolutely nothing to bring it on themselves. It’s a lottery nobody should win.
  • I run because with all the technology and intelligence available, we need to focus fund resources to crush this disease.
  • I run because people are generous. If running 26.2 miles through our nation’s capital inspires people to give, then it is my obligation to do that.
  • I run because I believe private funding will make a difference.
  • I run because the money I raise will directly contribute to the effort to save lives.
  • I run because I am inspired by the others who run to support lung cancer.


If you feel called to contribute to the cause, follow this link: 
Every dollar counts. Thank you.

Monday, September 12, 2011

To you, from me

It's September 11th, ten years ago, and we had just had our first date the weekend before, a date to play tennis at nearby courts, in which you were over an hour late to pick me up. Oh, we are so far then from where we are now – married, a mortgage, a daughter, and another on the way. It’s late summer in the Sacramento valley, and I’m just a restless senior in college who is not quite ready to graduate, not quite ready to grow up, not quite ready to settle down, and then you ask me out for dinner, and then another date, and finally it’s like everything clicks.

After that, there’s a line straight down the middle of my life: a before and an after. Part A and part B. Without you, without you, without you – then with you.


Dinner was burned, and then it got cold. The baby is crying; I’m grumpy, exhausted and hungry. I curse under my breath, grumbling and complaining about how inconsiderate he is. Mad that he is late, mad that I don’t know when he will be home. Mad that I ruined dinner, mad that the baby will be in bed late again.

In this moment I hear myself, and I sound like an angry sitcom woman berating her hapless husband and I think how did I get like this? How did I get so old and obvious? I take a deep breath and think back to you on our tennis date, the way you made me laugh, the way your hazel-brown eyes glistening in the sun, the hope and the promise. I think of a time when you weren’t the idiot who forgot to tell me you were going to work late, but to when you were still the future, all unknown, shiny and new.


I have never been able to describe, accurately, how it felt to meet you. I vaguely remember our first meetings, the BBQ, Sunday football at the apartment, sitting next to you in our marketing class. This is frustrating for me; I make a living working with words. But here is the thing: I just knew. I didn’t want to commit, I swore to myself up and down that I didn’t want to get involved. And yet, I found myself saying yes to every single date.

My roommate asked why I kept going out with you, why I kept saying yes. Why did I curl my hair before every date? Why did I wear a skirt to my Tuesday/Thursday classes, if I didn’t care to impress you? “I don’t know”, I replied, “but something about him captures me. Something about him keeps me coming back.”

Not love at first sight, a feeling at first sight.


Twelve days after that first tennis date, two passenger planes crashed into the Twin towers in New York City. The world stopped. Chaos ensued. Classes were cancelled, track practice was abandoned, my roommates and I glued to the TV. He called, nervously, to see if I was alright. Awkward silence crackled along the phone line. There was nothing to say, the world was shocked.

While I could never forget about this national tragedy, we will never forget; it was swallowed up by the memory of meeting you.


This is just a quiet observation about the passage of time. The media, NYC, and the world remembers today, we reflect on all that was lost, we remember all the heroes who responded to those attacks that day. A decade has passed since our nation has gained new strength and new hope. For me, this is a date: September 11th that I carry with me in the compartment that contains all of our other dates, all those other notches marking the steady accumulation of time.