Week seventeen, day four
Loop of the lake for 9 miles today. I knew it was going to be a small group and was prepared to run it by myself. Instead, Coach Joe, Karen (our team captain), Shorty and Mark showed up to run with me. They let me set the pace (which is kind of like letting your three year old set the GPS) and stayed with me the whole way. I really appreciated it and it turned into a good run.
The reason our group was so small is that the Dallas Marathon is tomorrow, and most of my teammates are running either the full or the half. I have to admit I was a little jealous. I feel like I’m pretty much ready to run my half, but I still have five weeks until race day. And it’s not like I can just sit home and stay ready; I’ve got to keep putting in the miles and stay on top of my eating and sleeping so I am even more ready. I’ve got to keep fundraising to meet my goal.
My thoughts always wander on the way home from the lake, and today I was thinking about Angi’s fiance, Joel. Joel and Angi had an amazing relationship, and no one could have loved her or cared for her while she was sick like Joel did. Sure, they had friends, and we offered emotional and other support when we could, but mostly it was Joel who handled the doctor’s visits and paperwork and emotional turmoil. It was Joel who quit his job and moved to Houston for six months to care for Angi full-time. It was Joel who had to make the arrangements when she passed.
What I was thinking about today was that Joel and Angi had good days and bad days during her treatment, but mostly, they just had . . . days. You know? Joel didn’t get to take a day off when his boss yelled at him or he had a headache or he was just emotionally spent. Caregiving is a full-time job, and the people who do it still have to take care of the bills and the pets and the house, all the while dealing with appointments and tests and treatments and a lot of waiting for all of those things to be done. Through it all, they just keep going. Day after day. Hour after hour.
Mile after mile. Step after step. If Joel could keep going, so can I.