On March 12, my family and I lost a loved one. Marjorie was a sweet, gentle, kind and compassionate woman. She's a special part of my running story and I'm grateful to have had this connection with Marjorie.
My first Thanksgiving with Mike's family was in 2008. Mike, his Uncle Tom and Aunt Marjorie had developed a tradition of running the Manchester Road Race every Thanksgiving morning. Mike ran his first marathon in Philadelphia a few days before and decided to bow out of the Thanksgiving run. Somehow, and I have no idea how, I was signed up for the race. I was not running much at all and the thought of running 4.7 miles seemed impossible.
That didn't matter. Marjorie was running with me.
I know she could have gone faster, but she never left my side. She knew the course so well and talked me up the hill and reassured me that the finish line was just around the corner. We finished together and it was a huge victory!
Since her passing, Marjorie has been on my mind a lot, especially when I'm out on a run. I've been thinking of her when I start up a hill, of which there are many around here. The hill is a challenge, an obstacle. They show up when you're sore, tired, or thirsty.
Marjorie was someone who took on challenges and didn't back away. I bet she looked forward to hills on her runs, whereas I try to avoid them! But, when she was diagnosed with depression, I imagine it was like a hill with no end in sight. Overwhelming, scary, and looming.
Every uphill has a downhill. I know that Marjorie now has peace and happiness. She doesn't have to climb anymore and for that, I am thankful. Sad, but grateful.