Friday, March 18, 2011

Almost Here!

So, I have 1 full day and a few hours left until the LA Marathon which is this Sunday. I am so proud and happy to say that I made my fundraising goal of $1,050.00, to cover Bonnie's surgery. I honestly didn't think I would make it but I did!!!! Thank you so much to those people that came through and supported me.

I can't believe that I will be walking this Sunday. It seems so long ago when I first started training, 16 weeks to be exact. A lot of stuff has happened between then and now but I am still walking. This was my last official week of training and I got really emotional on Monday while on the treadmill. I'm sure the other gym patrons enjoyed that!

When I first started this goal, I remember that in my mind, I would think about my kids being stranded somewhere and me having to walk to them. Sadly, the Japan earthquake happened last week and I had heard someone on tv who lives in Japan, saying that after the quake, everyone was walking and walking for hours and they were all so tired. Thinking about that, has become one of my new means of motivation because I could not imagine how scared they all must have been but they kept on going.

I also think of my brother Frank and how he was alive when I started this journey and now he's in heaven. He will be the angel on my back, giving me wings to fly.

"A marathoner is a marathoner regardless of time. Virtually everyone who tries the marathon has put in training over months, and it is that exercise and that commitment, physical and mental, that gives meaning to the medal, not just the day’s effort, be it fast or slow. It's all in conquering the challenge."

Mary R. Wittenberg, president, New York Road Runners Club:

All of the marathon participant's name were on this car

Up close picture of the car with my name. My name was there two times because there was a mix-up and someone registered me twice.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Frank's Life Celebration

Last Sunday, we celebrated Frank's life. He had told us all along, that he didn't want the occasion to be sad, only happy as he was very, very happy where he was at.

Frank had originally asked me to hold the memorial in my backyard as it's pretty big but then thought that it would be too much work for us. We did end up having the life service here at my house, as I felt that was the best place and I know that Frank would have been happy with how it turned out.

One of the many things that Frank loved was rainbows so that's what type of party we had. The service itself was really nice and the person who presided over it was awesome. I planned a butterfly release which went well and at the end, we had everyone write a message to Frank on white balloons and released them all at the same time. We played the song "Somewhere Over the Rainbow".

I was hit pretty hard after the service and felt depressed this week. I am slowly making my way out and starting to get back to my daily schedule. It's always difficult when you lose someone you love, especially at such a young age.

I know that Frank is watching over my family and I MISS him like crazy every single day. I wish he didn't have to go but God has a plan for everything. The poem below is one that I read at the service as it sums up Frank perfectly.

"A butterfly lights beside us like a sunbeam.
And for a brief moment its glory and beauty
belong to our world.
But then it flies on again,
and though we wish it could have stayed,
we feel so lucky to have seen it."

Rainbow cupcakes that I made

One of the butterflies that stayed around for a little while

It was a beautiful sight seeing all of the balloons in the air

Two of the balloons had broken away from the rest and were going straight up. I said that they were my mom and Frank.

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Sad News

I am so very saddened to write that my oldest brother Frank, passed away last Thursday. Frank passed away at the very young age of 52. He was battling lung cancer. I actually shouldn't even use the word battling because Frank chose not to do chemo or radiation as he wanted to have quality of life and spend it with us, those few precious months that he had left. I am also not going to say that he lost his fight because he didn't. To the very end, Frank never let the cancer get the best of him and always had a postive attitude. He was usually the one comforting those around him and even last week, told us that he was at peace with everything.

Shortly after Frank's transition, I received an email from the person who is going to preside over Frank's service. Here is a portion of what was written.

"Your brother was one of the kindest, most compassionate and loving people I have ever met. I kept thinking that I would be overcome with a great sense of loss but throughout the day I felt his presence. What a beautiful human he was...I can't imagine how glorious he is right now as he has transitioned from this world into a place that is free of pain & disease; is free of fear; is free of need or want...transitioned to a place of beauty, light, abundance in the very presence of God and the angels."

I get tears in my eyes as I read the above because I know it's true. Frank is at peace and that's all he ever wanted. That and to see my mom again and his dogs.

I love you very much brother and am going to miss you greatly. I know you are around watching over us from heaven.