Friday, December 10, 2010
Today marks the 20th anniversary of my Dad's death. I can't believe that that much time has passed. I wish he could have gotten to know his Grandchildren and to see the person I have grown up to be. I believe he would be proud.
Alcoholism stripped him of his intelligence, his humor, his good looks. It took away everything that he had worked so hard for. Ultimately, it took his life.
I remember this day as though it were yesterday. Rushing to the hospital with three small babies in hand, running down the hallway trying to get there in time. "I'm sorry, Kelly, but your Dad just took his last breath", the nurse told me. I sat with him alone. I studied his face, memorizing his skin tone, studying his nose that had been smashed in with a metal pipe just two months before. Someone had hurt my Father and then robbed him of the only money he had. Two dollars! They broke his nose for two fucking dollars as he sat on a street corner, alone and destitute. I studied his feet that had taken him to both good and bad places and I wanted to remember everything about him, so I would never forget. This man who I loved so much and who had become so unlovable to so many. This man who had lost his job, all respect, all dignity and lived in a one room studio apartment when he died. My heart feels so much pain and sadness as I write this. I am crying now as I remember the man who was so strong, so funny, so charismatic. My Mom use to say that all the woman loved him and all the men wanted to be like him. Alcohol took that all away. Slowly, all the air was drained out of him. Kinda like a balloon deflating.
Today I honor my Dad for the man who taught me to be strong. He taught me to be a survivor, though he didn't know that. His drinking was a gift to me as strange as that sounds. In 1981, I decided to stop drinking for my New Years Resolution. A tribute to myself and to my Dad. I hated the taste of alcohol, but what if?? I couldn't risk ever having an issue like that. I couldn't put myself or the ones I loved, through that. So today I encourage any of you to take a step towards making your life a better one. I am so sorry that my Dad had to suffer with alcoholism, but he may have saved my life. He loved me and he would never have wanted me to suffer like he did. RIP Dad. You were loved so much and I will never forget you. You were my Hero and I walk proud today knowing that you were my Dad. I am picturing you right now. I am smiling and crying at the same time.
With the Holidays upon us, I have totally neglected writing in my blog. With Facebook so conveniently in my face everyday, I forget that I should update the blog once in awhile for the couple of people who do read it.
Last Saturday I ran The Northface Endurance Challenge 50 mile race that is a Championship race and the last of 6 races in a national series. There is a lot of money on the line for the winners. Ist male and Ist female win 10,000, 2nd wins 4,000, and 3rd wins 1000 dollars. As you can imagine, the race was stacked with some of the most elite ultra runners in the world.
It was an early start, 5am, and running for a couple of hours in the dark posed an interesting slant on a 50 miler. The weather Gods behaved themselves for the most part, and despite the rain and wind, it could have been a lot worse! The course is very challenging with lots of ups and downs and several sections of stairs that are endless. We even had to climb a vertical ladder on the Steep Ravine Trail. It is beautiful running in the Marin Headlands overlooking the Pacific Ocean and the Golden Gate Bridge.
I was happy with my time, as I started the race with minimal training and a very tired body. I was pleasantly surprised that I ran strong from start to finish. My good friend and pacer Suzanna Bon was excellent and it was so great to have her out there with me. My finishing time was 9:42 which put me at 16th woman, and 1st in my age group. I'm happy with that. I started the race with a sore low back and today it is still really hurting. I have been using the foam roller and stretching but I think a chiropractor appt. and a massage are in order.
Saturday was also the WS 100 mile lottery, and once again my name wasn't drawn. Oh well, what's a woman to do? Run a more exciting race, right? Well, I'm working on that. I'll let you know.