I had one of my "old lady memory" moments tonight. I took Aidan to football, and decided to get in a few miles instead of sitting in the car watching practice.
I ran down County Rd 2. (Traci, can you believe I even attempted it?!) This road has been a thorn in my side. The first time I ever really got "hurt", I was on this road, and then during our 10 mile run, which seems like eons ago, the hills on that road stirred up my IT Bands by mile 3. I swore that I'd never run it again.
But I can't control where Coach Shane holds football practice. (smile) So I took off. I only had about 45 minutes. I ran up and down hill after hill to one of my favorite cemeteries. I love cemeteries. I think it's because I love history so much. But this cemetery is special to me in a way. In the winter of 1998, when I was a very new nurse, I took care of a patient only a few years older than myself. She had gone to my high school. I bonded with her, and her mother. Then very unexpectedly, she died. She was 27 years old. I was off for a few days, and when I came back to work, I inquired about where she had gone, and someone casually told me that she died. I was really affected by that, more so than most of the deaths I have encountered in my career. I have visited her grave at least a dozen times. It just reminds me that there are no guarantees in life, and that I should be thankful for growing older, and the many blessings that I have.
So I ran to her grave tonight. And then I stood there for a moment looking at it, thinking about how much my life has changed since 1998, and how much her life would have changed---had she lived. And then I looked up, and I saw hills, and the setting sun, and horses, and I just realized that life is really good, and being alive is good, and running makes me feel so alive. It wasn't a sad moment, more of a "Wow, life is beautiful" moment. And I'm grateful that I have had 35 years on this earth to experience such joy.
And then I ran back to football practice.
Have I mentioned how much I love to run? Thank goodness we are tapering. The joy is returning. I want you Chicago, and I can't wait to show up, but give me a low-key 5 mile run where I can ponder life any day.