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Sunday, October 20, 2013

Missing Her

When I lost my sister, I also lost my best friend and a mother figure. I lost a person I talked to on the phone pretty much every day... sometimes a few times a day. I lost my biggest cheerleader and supporter. I lost someone I truly loved and who I know truly loved me, faults and all. Soooo it's been a rough few months! I can only take comfort in knowing she isn't suffering now, because the last four months ravaged her body and mind.
Misha and my men, a few weeks before she passed away
To deal with things, I've stayed very busy. Mostly it was things I had already agreed to do or host before Misha got sick. At first it was very hard to be around people, especially larger groups. But I had made lots of commitments and I wanted to follow through. A few times I burst out in the ugly cry when I least expected it out in public. The worst had to be Misha's son's High School graduation, that she could not attend. It broke my heart, because he was her world.

I gave the Eulogy at her funeral, and I'm so glad I was able to do that. Family, friends and coworkers filled up the church to overflowing. Hundreds of people came to say goodbye to Misha. They played the song Longer Than with a slideshow that was beautiful. The same song played at her wedding, in the same church, 33 years ago.

One month after my sister passed away, I attended a funeral for a friend who had fought a very long battle with cancer. Two other friends asked me that night to run a full marathon with them, something I had thought about once before but decided I couldn't do it. I had not been running much, and only had 100 days to train, but somehow it felt right. Like something I could do for Misha's memory. Running out on the trails brings on tears and laughter with thoughts of her, but then I can move on and there is only the squirrels and deer to see. I can actually feel her cheek pressed against mine, just like in this picture, sometimes when I run. 

So I'm training for the California International Marathon on December 8th. I'm doing it to make my body strong and to honor Misha. And when it gets hard and I'm tired or hurt, I think of my sister and her chemo, radiation, surgeries and constant tests. In four months she went through so much and she was so brave.
Me working really hard at the end of the San Jose Rock n' Roll two weeks ago
Lots can happen between now and then. So far I've built up to 17 miles and ran the San Jose Rock n' Roll Half Marathon last week as a training run. Keep your fingers crossed that I don't get (more) injured and can run the race! I know Misha would be FREAKED out by this, but would still support me. I miss her so much and this is how I'm dealing with my grief.