“I just can’t imagine”.
That’s the sentence I hear all the time when people ask about my little Gabriella. I always think to myself, “I hope you never have too”. I personally never in a million years imagined myself on this journey. No one does, because life rarely goes as we plan.
In less than 70 days, I’ll be running the Boston Marathon for Miles for Miracles, an incredible program to help young patients at Boston Children’s Hospital. I have always wanted to run a marathon, especially Boston, but never knew how I could get my hands on one of those coveted bibs. I love the idea of pushing myself beyond my limits crossing that finish line and experiencing the electricity of Marathon Monday. It’s a special day in Beantown that represents STRENGTH, HOPE and RESILIENCY. It also happens to be the world’s most historic and one of the most challenging marathons around.
The Boston Marathon symbolizes the ups and downs of life. 26.2187575 miles of ups and downs. I kept those extra numbers on just to get a better visual of it’s length. I’ve started training and it is NOT easy, especially since the training happens in the unforgiving Boston winters.
Truth be told, I’m not an avid runner, but running for a cause isn’t about skill, but rather passion and purpose. They say that if you are losing faith in human nature to go out and watch a marathon because you experience real life miracles. I know this run will be incredibly hard, but it’s a temporary pain, one that many kids at the hospital would wish for. I’ve already experienced it’s difficulties as I am 3/3 for throwing up after long runs.
As honored and excited as I am, I have to admit, I never saw myself running for my own daughter. But then again…when does life ever go the way we imagine it to? Life has so many ups and downs and I remember having this realization as I was watching her vital signs in the hospital when I couldn’t sleep.
The heart monitor went up and then down, up and down. It hit me at that moment that this is way life is SUPPOSED to be. Up and Down. After all, if it was a straight line, then you aren’t living.
This hit me again when I was looking at the route from Hopkinton to Boston (which by the way, I would think was a long way driving, forget running!) I couldn’t help but see a reoccurring theme in her journey and the race. The route goes up and it goes down, up and down again.
Just like her scar.
It’s sometimes flat, then it’s hilly, it has twists, bumps, potholes and the infamous heartbreak hill. If you’re running uphill in the race or just on a day to day basis, it’s important to remember, there is always a downhill right around the corner. It goes up and down.
Just like life.
We all have our own marathon that we’re dealing with and I have come to realization that it’s simply part of life. Some have more potholes, speed bumps and detours than others, but life isn’t meant to be a smooth, straight line. Since we can’t avoid it, then we have no choice but to make the best of it. It’s all about managing the bumps in the road. And that is why I plan to run and raise money for one of the best hospitals in the world as a way to pay it forward for all they did for our daughter. It’s the least I can do.
I know that 26 miles is going to be ROUGH, especially training in the cold and dealing with knee issues, but there are 3 words that will help me get through each mile. The three words that pop up when you go to the Miles for Miracles homepage.
Stronger. Tougher. Braver.
Stronger. She endured a 5 hour surgery with multiple surgeons that consisted of reconstructing her skull with screws and plates, a blood transfusion and over 100 stitches…Because of this, she is certainly stronger for it.
Tougher. Perspective is a gift and what Gabriella went through not only made her tougher, but our family as well. Her scar reminds us all that our little bumps and bruises from time to time are nothing compared to what she and so many other children go through. Because of her, we are all tougher.
Braver. Gabriella knew that something was going to happen the day of her surgery. I saw in her eyes. That day she exemplified bravery like I’ve never seen. All the kids at Boston Children’s teach us something about bravery. Gabriella, it is you that makes me brave.
As hard as this journey has been, with twists and turns, roadblocks and potholes…truth be told, “I just can’t imagine” my life without you.
*If you are one that just LOVES to support a good cause, then thank you in advance. Miles for Miracles not only donates all proceeds to Boston Children’s Hospital, but it it their research that helps hospitals all over the world.*