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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.


  1. Hi Amber! Great job on the training, I know that you are going to do great on the marathon, and Misha would be proud.

  2. Hi Amber. I realy like your blog. You sharing many helpful post, i will visit your blog often. Thank

  3. I do understand how you are feeling, I have a lot of loss since we have met. I can say that it will get easier. She would be so proud of you. I can't believe you can run that many miles. Be careful and keep thinking of her. :-)

  4. I think of you often. It will be 2 years this January since we lost Beth. I honestly can't believe it's been that long. It seems like only yesterday, but then at times it seems like forever that she has been gone. I don't cry as much when I think of her. I can say that the pain is always there, but like a wound that has scabbed over, it doesn't always feel as painful. I seem to know not to let myself go to that deep place where none of this makes sense. I can now often remember her with tears in my eyes not streaming down my cheeks. My niece will graduate this spring, and I know that will be hard. I'm not saying it will ever get easy. You will just get better at handling it. I think your run is a great idea. Putting your energy and emotion into something else is a good thing. Stay strong my friend! XO!

  5. Amber - nice pics of you and Misha and your family with Misha. Keeping fingers crossed for you to be injury free for your next run!

  6. Amber, Thank you for sharing about Misha, the pictures are are filled with love. Good luck with the marathon run - I believe you will do great!

  7. Hi Amber - Your post is beautiful, you brought tears to my eyes. My parents live with us. I worry every day & night that this may be the night that I hear one of them holler for help over the intercom. (Although they are in their late 60's, my mother's diabetic and my father has leukemia.) I have a younger and two older siblings as well and have often thought about how I would handle things if any of them were to pass before me. I just try to remind myself that there's no escape for anyone, just do the best you can right now... Carry on, stay strong. Best wishes for your marathon.

  8. Amber, thank you for sharing your heart and soul. I can't imagine your pain...so very sorry! Praying for comfort for you and the whole family. Thank you again for sharing yourself with us and also helping us to know who Misha was. I wish I could have known her! I think it's awesome you are running this marathon in her honor! I know she would be thrilled!
    ~ Blessings,

  9. What a touching post! Good to hear from you, although you need not feel obligated to keep up your blog during this healing process. How wonderful that you're channeling your grief into something that strengthens your body instead of spiraling into bad habits (which is what I might do instead). Prayers for your healing journey and good luck on the marathon! Jennifer M.

  10. Thank you for sharing your feelings about your beautiful sister. You are in my thoughts. I have enjoyed your blog very much over the years and I am very sorry for your loss. Also good luck in the marathon tomorrow.