My husband and I met 3 years and 2 months ago. We found out on our first date that we had an interesting connection. He is a heart transplant recipient and I am part of a donor family.
My stepsister, Lorraine, suffered from a horrible disease. Addiction. This illness took her on June 23, 2010. She was 24 years old. While she was on life support, my stepfather, John, was able to understand what the local OPO (organ procurement organization, Gift of Life from Philly) was asking the family. She was brain dead. She was hooked up to machines that were keeping her body alive but she was already gone. We were waiting to say goodbye. They were asking if her organs could be used to save the lives of others. John told the family that this is what Lorraine would have wanted. So John and Lorraine’s mother said yes. Lorraine was given rest and another chance. A legacy.
After many health struggles that are another story, my husband, Derek, was in heart failure for 7 years. He received a new heart, someone else’s heart, on the same day that his doctors thought he might not live another 24 hours. He was given another chance. While his family celebrated this miracle at his bedside, Derek’s mind wandered to another place. Somewhere there was a family gathered around their lost loved one. They were crying and saying goodbye. And they had decided to make their loved one a hero. Give them a legacy. Save a life.
The soft ocean breeze hits my body and whispers to me to relax (shhhhhh). I can hear the seagulls. They are softly telling me to keep my eyes closed and just breathe (hushhhhh). There is no place I would rather be. The sound of the… bull horn. That’s a bullhorn. That is a loud freaking bull horn. What the hell is going on? I feel myself being pulled from my beach chair into the air toward that crazy, uncomfortable sound. Why am I going up? Why am I …
Oh. It’s my alarm. It’s 4:30am. Time to make the donuts. If you don’t know what that means, it means I’m old.Continue reading →
You know how certain things in life can feed your soul? For me those moments are usually things I do to help others. Yesterday was the first time that I felt that way about something that was really just for me. I competed in (well, “participated in” is probably more accurate) the Women’s Philadelphia Triathlon (PHLTRI). It wasn’t the most challenging race I’ve ever done and it won’t be the most challenging race I will do this year. It was, however, one of the most fun races and 100% the most soul feeding. I needed this finish. Ever since the New York City marathon last year, I have had a string of very painful and very discouraging training and racing moments. I DNF’d a race this year for the first time in my life. Twice! Every day was a new pain and a new challenge. I am used to pain. After breaking my back Continue reading →
My first full marathon was just last year in 2017. I completed the Marine Corps Marathon.
D had just recovered from a fairly debilitating cycling accident. We were excited for my first marathon, his recovery, running together and the cause we were running for.
The morning of the race was pretty unforgettable. We were on top of a hill overlooking DC. The sky was a cool deep, bright, beautiful red. There were teams running in honor of lost family members, missing family members, those still serving, and all who sacrifice to keep us safe. Continue reading →