Running uphill to 40 – what is the meaning of it all?

Two weeks ago today was my Grandfather’s funeral.  Every day that passes makes me feel further away from him.  I don’t know why, but since the day he died (8th May) I’ve struggled to run.  Every run has been a complete battle to lift my legs.  I’ve not managed my three runs a week, I’ve been lucky if I’ve managed two.  I’ve tried focusing on the world around me.  I even saw two ducks waddling across a field on the first run out.  I named them George and Violet, my Grandad and Nan – she passed away 29.5 years ago, but she was the best!

It’s just not happening.  I can’t make any sense of it all…..

My first ever race was very hard.  I learnt a lot.  I learnt not to do the warm up, but instead to do my own.  I learnt to go out slowly.  I learnt I’m much better running alone.  The 7km undulating route was completed in 46:46.   It was wonderful to see Andrew, Sally and Jesse Hall (Blue Skye Thinking)had come along to cheer me on.  I couldn’t bring myself to put the medal on.  It seemed so meaningless.

What is life all about?  What is the meaning of it all?

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve had my distractions.  Anger for me is a great distraction and boy have I had it in bucket loads.  One of my favourite quotations of all time is this:

The ultimate measure of a man

 “The Ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands in times of challenge and controversy.”

Martin Luther King

They say things come in threes…. I’ve been faced with three separate situations in the last month, which have really proven to me the truth of this statement.  Over the years I suppose I’ve come to terms with the constant back stabbing and have learnt to expect it, to put things in a box and walk on.  When people stab my family in the back, that’s when I feel angry.

I know I sometimes misunderstand my husband, but one thing I know, he always thinks things through before acting.  Since we’ve had Jonathan, he hasn’t managed to go to as many boy’s night’s outs or trips as he used to.  His focus has shifted and like the situation with my friends and I, we have become somewhat isolated.  I think it’s why he was so keen to go on a holiday we were invited to.  The idea was to leave Jonathan.  As time went on, Jonathan hit a bad patch, my grandfather got very sick, I couldn’t leave him behind with the arrangements we had in place.  Keith and I decided to book him a flight too.  We checked out where we were staying, it had a kids club, a babysitting service and was such a large resort with areas geared up for children, we thought this was the best thing to do…. lead balloon comes to mind…. but I didn’t know about it.  My dear husband kept it all from me.  I was spending every hour I could walking with my grandad during his last few days.  Watching him try and cough, watching the life sucked from him.  I didn’t know our invitation and hotel booking had been revoked.   For what reason, I don’t know.  I have my suspicions, but life is too short to worry about fair weather “friends”.  Especially when you’re struggling yourself to work out the meaning of it all.

Then you read something, a real life story which makes you breakdown.   A story of love.  A story of trying to find peace.  A story of the deepest grief.  A story of trying to find the answers.  A story of heartbreak and a family being torn to pieces.  A family I’ve had the privilege to meet.  The reason I run.  The reason I beg people to donate as much as they can.  Brain tumours are so underfunded and so under researched.  Blue Skye Thinking are making a difference.  Even though the family behind it are struggling to function right now, they are making a big difference.

My problems are nothing compared to what they are facing.  Grief and yet more cancer – please give them a break.

252 miles down for you Skye.  I wonder if by the end of the 500 miles I will feel like it’s been worthwhile.  At the moment I just feel like it’s an uphill battle to run and raise money and awareness.  Sorry for not doing enough x


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