Today would have been my aunt Marge’s 69th birthday.
In honor of this, I’ve been planning to write a beautiful blog post about how she taught me to enjoy roller coasters despite the fact that I was a dramatic, worried kid prone to performing the ghost of Hamlet’s father draped in a beach towel in the family living room.
Then, I’d recount how my grandpa used to admiringly describe her as a 78 RPM record in a 33 RPM world. Maybe I’d throw in some nice details about how she loved drag racing and working on cars as a bouffant-wearing teen in the early 1960s, and became a successful businesswoman in her later years. Then I would wrap it up by saying that her legacy lives on in the many 4-H kids she coached to horseback riding championships, and the amazing organic farm that her daughter started this year.
For the finale, I was going to tell you how she taught me to enjoy life and take risks and raise my arms up and scream on the roller coaster of life, with a big smile on my face. (Cue soaring music.)
It was going to be perfect and brilliant! You were going to cry and feel inspired to hug ponies and become entrepreneurs!
Maybe someday I’ll be able to write that post.
After multiple drafts, I realized that a year and a half after she died from Lymphoma, I’m still just pissed off that she’s gone. (Yeah, I’m looking at YOU, blood cancer.)
What to do with this anger? I’m running my first half marathon to raise money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. I’m doing something that scares and excites me, because she taught me that good things can happen when you embrace that.
The race is October 19 in San Francisco. Please donate, or share this post, or come cheer me on.
Happy birthday, Marge. I miss you.