Running for Mom – one year later



One year ago today, I lost my mom to pancreatic cancer. She was hospitalized a couple of days after her birthday in March, and was diagnosed a week or so later. Her decline was quick and blessedly free of much pain. While I am thankful that she didn’t suffer much, I can’t help but wish that we’d had just a bit more time together.

Breaking Apart

In the weeks leading up to Mom’s death, and those following, I found solace in my running. Although I spent much of her final 2 weeks at the hospital, I often took an hour or so in the morning to get outside. Unlike this year, the spring of 2013 was relatively mild in Ontario, and I could run the streets of Barrie without worry of slipping on the ice, or needing to bundle up.

A couple of days after Mom was gone, I went for one of the longest runs I had done – heading up Anne Street and north of the city. It was a warm, sunny day and the route was just along the gravel verge of the road. All of a sudden, it hit me that I would never see her again. I started to cry – the kind of sobs that wrack your body – and just kept running and crying and hating cancer and regretting some of the things I should never have said and thinking of things I wished I had said.

Then I couldn’t cry anymore. There was nothing more I could do but turn around and head home.

Pulling Back Together

Although I had registered for the 2013 BMO Vancouver Half Marathon, I had no intention of racing. In fact, when I first learned of my mom’s illness, I asked if I could defer to the following year – a request that was unfortunately denied. But I ended up flying home a week after the funeral, and two days before the race, so I ran it anyway. Not a great time – my training had hardly been consistent – but better than not running at all. My mom was not one for waste, and I think she would have applauded my decision.

A week later I registered for the Scotiabank Charity Challenge, raising funds for the BC Cancer Foundation. I was already signed up for the Scotiabank Half Marathon and, since Mom fervently believed in helping others, I couldn’t think of a better way to honour her memory than to dedicate the run to her. Every penny donated was earmarked for pancreatic cancer research – and with the overwhelming support of family and friends, over $3,700 was raised.

And today I’m committing to do it again. I’ve signed up to fundraise for the BC Cancer Foundation, and to Run for Mom in this year’s Scotiabank Half Marathon.

You can help support me in the 2014 Scotiabank Charity Challenge by making a donation here.

With sincere thanks.


One comment

  1. Pingback: Scotiabank Vancouver Half Marathon Race Report | Bradley on the Run

Comments are closed.

Back to Top