I cannot believe I am sitting here, writing a letter to you almost 10 years after you have passed away. When you were sick, I prayed and prayed that time would stand still and that I could have just have one more day, month, or even one more year with you. Now I sit here writing to you wishing I could turn back time and hear your voice for just one more minute.
As I embark on Sophie’s Run II, I thought my first blog should be a letter to tell you the things I would rush to the phone to call you about, or hurry home to have one of our long conversations that would carry on into the wee hours of the evening. I guess the hardest part of losing you was realizing that you are no longer a phone call away or a drive away. Time certainly does heal, but it doesn’t fill the void that will be missing for the rest of my life.
I will never forget the last night we spent together. I promised you that you would never be forgotten, and mom, you haven’t been. Your story lives on through Sophie’s Run, your family, and your grandchildren. As I prepare for another run, I want you to know that I am finally in a good place. I spent the first 6 years after you passed away angry and frustrated. I was angry with everyone who was moving on in their lives; as I felt moving on meant they were forgetting about you. I was told that I would see signs that you were still around and still watching over us all. Unfortunately, my anger blinded me from seeing that you were still with me and taking care of me in your own little way.
It wasn’t until I wrote a journal entry about dad and your 35th wedding anniversary that I realized I needed to move from being angry to being “ok” and living a life that you would be proud of. I remember the day dad came home and told you he was buying you a very special ring (a ring that you always wanted) for your 35th wedding anniversary. You were never materialistic and this ring was more symbolic of over 35 years of a relationship that endured through the good and bad times. Dad had your finger sized and started the process of having this very special ring made. I will never forget the day you turned to me and said, “your father thinks it’s our 35th wedding anniversary, but little does he know that it is only our 34th. Let him think it is our 35th.” Dad went ahead and arranged a special dinner and presented you with what he thought was your “35th wedding anniversary gift.” This ring is symbolic in sooooo many ways and taught me a very valuable lesson that there was a plan for you that we didn’t know about at the time. You never made it to your 35th wedding anniversary. A month after dad presented you with your ring, you were diagnosed with stage 4 colorectal cancer and lived 10 days shy of your 35th wedding anniversary.
I am sharing this story with you because it taught me that there is a greater plan for us all. Six years is a long time to be angry and upset with why you are there and we are here. Now that I have let my anger go, I notice the subtle ways you visit me every day. Whether it be a robin that shows up on the front lawn, a visit to Costco (that we did together every single Thursday night), or noticing your ring sitting on my desk, I do know that you are still a call away or a visit away, just in a different way now.
As I begin the 500km journey to Ottawa for Sophie’s Run II, I will look for you along the way. This journey is different than the last, as I am finally ok with where I am in my life. I want you to know that I am happy and have embraced the wonderful friends and family you have guided into my life. I will continue to be your advocate and educate others about the signs and symptoms of colorectal cancer. I promise you that you will never be forgotten and I also promise you that I will live my life the way you wanted me to, happy and not angry and sad.
I love you mom!
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