Throughout my life, I have always turned to writing as a source of therapy. Whether it for good news or bad, momentous occasions, or just to document my days events, getting my thoughts & feelings into words (on paper or computer screen) has always been a way to release for me. Seeing as it’s been 3 ½ weeks since my last post, let’s play catch-up while I hash out some thoughts for my own wellbeing, shall we?
After my last post, things kicked into high gear at work. We wrapped up with the last orientation session of the summer for new students & then all the work & preparation for fall started. Two days of instructor training, two days of information technology training, staff meetings, & registration for students—needless to say, it’s been a bit chaotic.
Carl has been going out of town most weekends for recruiting trips, so the big sis & I planned a girls weekend the first weekend of August before we both “officially” started back to work for the year. We try to find a new place we have not yet visited to run a race together, so we settled on Pensacola Beach, FL to run the Bushwacker 5K. I shit you not. Honestly, I picked this race so that I could own a tee shirt (they gave us tank tops) that read Bushwacker. If I had known however, how boring & ghetto Pensacola was-I would have skipped out. This run was brutal hot (race didn’t start till 7:30—in FL, it’s 85+humidity by this point), and we had to run across a half mile long bridge with a STEEP incline. I was proud however that I ran the entire time & didn’t let the bridge defeat me. Finished in 31:07.
Afterwards, the big sis & I did some retail damage seeing as it was tax free weekend & all. So the trip wasn’t a total bust. Knocked out another 5K, another race tank to add to my collection, got some sun, spent some sibling time together, & blew up NY&Co. A decent weekend indeed.
Perhaps I didn’t enjoy myself completely that weekend because the day before, on Thursday, my dad called to inform me that my papaw had suffered a major heart attack & was currently in the hospital in ICU & unable to speak or respond. One of life’s moments that I don’t think I will ever forget–my heart sinking into my stomach & the tears filling up my eyes. All I could keep thinking was I just saw him. He was fine. We just went to lunch together back in June when I was home visiting, and when I left him sitting in his lawn chair in the back yard, he was smiling & he was fine. What happened? How could this happen? Why my papaw?
My papaw, who has been independent & always on the go, was now ill & unable to care for himself or even talk. Being the stubborn Papaw that I know & love, his living will stated that he did not wish to have anything invasive done if he were to become ill. My parents told me & my sister to go ahead to Pensacola for the weekend & not rush home because that’s not what Papaw would have wanted. I know he would not have wanted us to see him weak & in such a vulnerable stage but it’s still hard that I didn’t get to say goodbye.
He passed away last Monday, August the 6th. When he called me only ONE month ago to wish me a happy birthday was the last time I would get to talk to him. I have not cried so uncontrollably in such a long time. I understood that my papaw would not be around forever & that one day I would have to deal with his passing, but it was always just that—one day. Not this year, this month, this week, tomorrow, or today, but one day. You think you have prepared yourself for dealing with something like this, but you are never quite prepared. Especially when it’s so sudden.
Grandparents are a wonderful thing & I am so blessed that I had my papaw as mine. The word ‘no’ was very rarely used as part of his vocabulary when it came to us grandkids. I think back to all the trips he & my Mimi took us on & all the fun things they did with us growing up & I smile. I’m happy to have been able to share 25 years with such a wonderful human being & find comfort in Papaw being reunited with my Mimi in heaven after seven years of being away from each other. It will still be difficult come Thanksgiving when there will be one less table setting.
I managed to get in most of my scheduled runs last week while home. Since I wouldn’t be working, I used running as my way of keeping my mind busy because I knew come the day of the funeral, I would be an emotional wreck. Which I was. I ran 19 of my scheduled 24 miles, which I’m okay with. Didn’t feel up to 12 on Saturday for my long run, so I cut it off at 10. This week however, with classes starting back up I have been non-stop at work all day-all week. So I have embarrassingly run 0 miles this week. Disgusting, I know but last week’s emotions & this week getting back into work has completely drained me of expendable energy. I am still planning on hitting the pavement tomorrow morning in an attempt of 10 miles, possibly 12, but we shall see.
My mom & dad took this week off from work & obligations in KY & followed me back to Bama for a few days before heading on to SC to visit with my sis too. Having them here with me for those few days earlier this week were wonderful & I am just reminded daily of how blessed I truly am.
This year has been a rough one: lost two good friends from high school, Pookie, & now my papaw. Almost eligible to make 2012 the worst year EVER if it weren’t for me running the NYC marathon this November. Looking on the brighter side of this situation—just means I’ll have that many more angels on my side come November 4th helping me to 26.2.