My Life

Recap of the Past Year

When the clock struck 12 am on January 1, 2018, people all over Facebook were saying that 2017 was a terrible year and looked forward to a great 2018. I thought, “2017 was boring and uneventful. Looking back on the past year, I would have taken a 2017 over a 2018 any day of the week.

A cruise to start the year off… 

The year started out with a cruise to Cuba. We went with my dad and my son. It was a little challenging to say the least. At one point, dad got lost and my husband and I were running around the ship looking for him… I was just grateful he didn’t go overboard.

Then, it was back to normal with my running group, Team Galloway LI. We ran all across Long Island and loved every moment of it. A couple of us even did the Time to Tri, indoor triathlon, which was a total blast.

Later that month, Brian and I attended the NY Times Travel Show in Manhattan and I won a para-olympic mascot bear. During that month, I attended Blogher with my running friend, Didi and life was off to a good start. Nice and boring… Just doing our thing…

Assigning tasks… 

In March, I went to Florida to help my dad with his taxes and it was the usual stress. I came back from that trip and complained to my sister about how difficult it was. After that, I assigned jobs for both my sister and my brother. Why should I be the only one burdened with taking care of my dad? 

When I got back, I ran a longer race in Riverhead, Riverhead Rocks and I felt good. I felt like I was in shape and doing what I love to do – training for running and triathlon races. Life was good.

Passover came early and our birthdays were right around the corner!

Passover came early this year and we all got together at Rebecca, my sister-in-law’s home. My sister, Lori, and her boyfriend, John, were invited. This was the first time we celebrated Passover together since my mother was alive. It was nice. 

At the house, I caught my sister in Rebecca’s den with Finley, her grandson. She was so happy. That was the last time I saw her. Thinking back, I wish I had talked with her more. There were so many people there and I just didn’t get the opportunity to have alone time with her. Who would have thought that this was it? Wouldn’t we have years together?

Then the headaches… 

That next week was particularly busy at work and I didn’t talk much with Lori. I spoke with her on Tuesday after she told me she passed out at the doctor’s office and was taken by ambulance from her job. She was having terrible migraine headaches. She had a history of those so no one really thought anything of it. But, she did say it was worse than she ever had in the past. 

She told me she was concerned about going away with her girls. They were going to go to Hershey Park for the weekend for Lori’s 60th birthday. When I saw a photo on Facebook, I realized they went. I texted Lori on Saturday saying, “I hope you’re having a great birthday weekend.”

She texted me back saying that she was having serious headaches and nothing was helping. I thought her girls went away without her, but then I found out that Monday, April 9 that she went but didn’t feel well the entire time. Her girls got her a massage for her birthday. I’m glad they had that time with her!

That Sunday night on the way home, she went to the ER. They sent her home telling her she was fine and to follow up with a neurologist. On Monday morning, she went to the neurologist who told her she would have to manage the migraines. She called me. We didn’t speak long but I did tell her that I loved her. She told me she loved me too. I was worried.

Then my life changed forever… 

I went to work after a bit of a hiatus spending some time with my son the week before. At 1 pm, I got a call from John that Lori was taken to the hospital and in a coma. At that moment, my life changed forever.

The next month, I spent every day at North Shore Hospital in Manhasset as I watched my sister die. It was the hardest thing for me. She had always been someone I looked up to and now, she was lying in a hospital bed with tubes coming out of her and I could do nothing. I was angry… scared…and felt very alone. I could just imagine how her daughters felt. The whole thing felt like a joke that would end up with her waking up telling me everything would be okay. But she didn’t.

Grateful for Aunt Ann… 

We buried my sister next to my mother, thanks to the generosity of my Aunt Ann. (That was Ann’s original burial spot but she moved her place which was an incredible gift of giving and selflessness.)

The week after my sister passed, I went to Europe on a planned vacation with my husband’s family. I didn’t want to go. But, I didn’t have much of a choice. I grieved deeply while I was there and tried hard to escape from the realities that my sister was no longer there for me to talk with. 

In June, we went to Colorado for my cousin’s wedding. It was nice to be with my family. After that, I ran a fun race around Flushing Meadow Park and reflected back to my childhood and the 1964 World Fair.

After Jeff came… 

Jeff Galloway came in late June to my home and to give a presentation to my running group. He was amazing and it was such an honor to host him. 

The rest of the summer was uneventful, except that I ended up losing two teeth and having implants, which was not a pleasant experience. (But, I don’t even want to go there!)

I swam two races this past summer and amazingly, I was the last man standing and got awards for finishing the swims. They were pretty rough ocean swims and people were dropping out like flies… 

Celebrating Dad’s 85 without Lori… 

In July, Brian and I went back to Florida to celebrate my dad’s 85 birthday with him. It was hard to be there without Lori. She was my rock! Every day, I think of her… 

Next up Arizona and Back to Berkeley…

Arizona was our next stop. We went there in August to visit my son who had an internship at the Phoenix Suns. It was so incredibly hot and uncomfortable. At 120 degrees F, I found that my sneakers melted. It was that bad! (Great seeing my son, but the heat was horrendous.)

In late August, we took my son back to UC Berkeley. He got an apartment this year and we helped him set up. We also made a pit stop in Napa and walked away with cases of wine that will literally last a lifetime! 

Finley’s 2nd birthday party was held in September. Finley is my sister’s grandson. I could feel her presence at the party. It was so hard to be there without her. 

Racing again on the west coast… 

By October, I started to miss my son dearly and met him in San Jose for a 10K race. There, I met up with my cousins, Anita and Cheryl and we had an amazing dinner together. It was incredible to spend time with my son. We had a wonderful weekend. 

Spraining both wrists… 

Then in early November, I was running with my running partner, Colleen, when I fell on the street and sprained my left arm. Thinking it could have been worse, when I went to Disney a few weeks later to meet my brother and his wife, I fell again. This time in the bathroom and this time, I had an even worse sprain on my right wrist!

In Disney, I tried to make the most of it but was in severe pain. I needed to appreciate the time with my brother and his wife. I never spent that much time with him and it was good to be with them. 

As I write this blog, I have two more trips ahead before wrapping up the year. But, by the time you read this, the trips will be in the past. 

Yes, I traveled a lot this year. But all or most of the travel focused on seeing people I love. Our time is shorter than we all think and it’s important to appreciate every moment. You realize this when you lose someone you love. 

Every moment counts and an opportunity lost will never come again… Thank you for reading this and being a part of my journey! I appreciate you! Have a wonderful new year… xoxo

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