Thursday, March 25, 2010

Amanda

I'm having a hard time wrapping words around all the emotion I feel today. I'll try a bit, but it's not going to be pretty.

Two years ago, almost to the day, Amanda came by to drop off stuff so that I could run in my very first 10K. I'd never run before, but was doing so for another friend's daughter as a fundraiser. It turns out I was too late to register. Amanda encouraged me on, and suggested I take her bib, since she had been feeling bad for so long. When she and her husband stopped by to drop off the running packet I thought, my God, she looks gray. Cancer gray. But still, I never imagined that my childhood friend could be THAT sick.

The next night she collapsed in the shower, and a few days later the leukemia diagnosis was made.

Fast forward to last year, and it was time to run the race again. I remember training the weeks prior, running and crying, pissed as hell my friend was being taken away. Even more angry that she had to leave behind her gorgeous son who was only three. On March 25, one year ago today and two days before the 10K, Amanda passed. And I was devastated. I ran the race, pushing myself like never before and managed to take 10 minutes off of my time, but passing the finish line did not carry the same rush of joy over my accomplishment. It brought a rush of grief. Thankfully, a good friend had run with me, which helped me keep my emotions in check, but when I got to the car, alone? I lost it. Totally lost it.

One more year has passed. It's time for the 10K again, and this year I'm running, of course, to honor Amanda's memory, as well as the memory of a beautiful little girl, Charlotte, who entered and left  life way too briefly. I'm trying to do something Amanda would be proud of - beating my previous times, though I'm still nowhere near the runner she was.

This year running almost hurts more than last year. It provides time to think and feel, and the emotions of everything well up to a point where I feel like I will just fall to pieces. So I try to balance it with memories and snapshots in my head of the 20 years of friendship we shared. I am so thankful she was a part of my life - she was one of those friends that I could go months without talking to and then we could pick right back up where we left off. She could make me laugh and spill my deepest darkest secrets. She was someone I admired and looked up to - her example and friendship taught me how to be an individual and good friend. It is because of her I learned to be comfortable with who I was as a teen, that I ran my first race, that I wrote my first blog entry. And it's her loss that weighs on my heart so heavily today.

2 comments:

  1. Sending you lots of love.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Many, many hugs, my friend.

    ReplyDelete