I’ve come to realize lately that the central theme of this blog is not running. It’s grief, and what we do to take the grief life has given us and transform it into something meaningful, even beautiful and empowering. That’s what running with Team in Training is doing for me this year.
This is the first in a series of posts about how blood cancer has affected my family, and what each of us has done with the grief life has handed us. We have lost 5 of our own to blood cancers – people who loved us and raised us, whose absence is deeply felt. When you donate, you give us hope. You let us know we are not alone.
Today, I’d like to you to meet my cousin, Jess. She lost her mom, Marge, to a short and brutal battle with lymphoma in January 2013. We spent many a fun summer together at Grandma Julie‘s house before we lost her to multiple myeloma. Here is Jess adventuring with Marge in 2011.
Jess has done something out of the ordinary to honor her late mother’s memory. She started Green Duchess Farm. When you’re in New Jersey, check out her naturally grown eggs, herbs, chickens and turkeys.
Here’s what Jess has to say about Marge, and why you should donate to LLS:
“She was not only my mother, but my best friend. She set a high standard of the type of person I want to be. She instilled in me a deep love for plants, animals, and nature. She showed me how to live life with dedication, passion, and fortitude. The pain of the loss of her gets easier to bear each day but I am always reminded of her, in the things we enjoyed together and things we thought we would do in the future.
I always thought that she, who had endured so much struggle throughout her life, was invincible. I know now that is not the case for any of us. I find myself warning my loved ones that I too may fall victim and be taken too soon. I want to live a full life in order to carry on her legacy of selfless volunteer work, teaching of children, loving friendship, and joy of life. Every disease has it’s charity fund now. How does one choose which to support? Are they not all deserving? I don’t know, but it would mean the world to me if someone was moved by our story and decided to donate to LLS. Hopefully one day, researchers will find a way to prevent losses like ours.”