Happy Birthday in Heaven, Mom.

Today would have been my mother’s 62nd Birthday. Birthdays were a big deal in our house growing up – at least for everyone’s but hers! She would have said today was nothing special, just another day. I would give anything to make it something special, instead of wishing you a happy birthday in Heaven, Mom.

It makes me incredibly sad that she is not here for me to wish her Happy Birthday. I never thought this would happen so soon. How could it? Most days I don’t understand and I still expect her to answer when I call the house. Most days I wait for a text message or email from her. Most days, when I want to tell her something, I still look for her number in my phone to call her. I used to call and listen to her voicemail every night, but it is gone now.

The last place my mom was and the bench there in memory of her.

The last place my mom was and the bench there in memory of her.

I was going through some of my papers and I found a note from her, funny, it seems so odd to see her writing again, but I still expect to hear her voice. Grief doesn’t make sense and maybe it is not supposed to. I like to call it her Plan for Healthy Living:

  1. Cut out Soda
  2. Don’t eat after 8:00 p.m.
  3. Move for 10 minutes a day
  4. Do not eat snacks larger than your fist.
  5. Track your weight every day.
  6. Love yourself more than the food!

Today I purposefully didn’t get up when my alarm went off – three times over the course of an hour and half – and skipped my run. I ate at my favorite diner for lunch; grilled cheese with french friend and tomato soup. I am eating Mexican with my sister tonight. I ate a whole candy bar as a snack – it did not fit in my fist, by the way. I have no idea how much I weigh, but I know it is not pretty. Food and I are pretty much at war right now and food is winning. So much for loving myself.

Still, in the back of my mind, I do know my mom would not be disappointed in me, she would understand. She lost her mom too. But, I also know she would want me to take care of myself. She would know I was trying too. My mom was passionate about running and healthy living.

She would be excited for the Air Force Half this weekend. She and I went last year as spectators to cheer on my Coach and friend, Duane in his first Marathon. It was a happy day! I bust out laughing now when I think about it. Mom went to the First Aid tent looking for him when he didn’t come in after 4 hours (Duane and I run at the same pace), but she didn’t know his last name at that time so she was just yelling “DUANE!” hoping someone would answer her. They did, of course, with, “Are you looking for a family member, Ma’am?” She figured out he wasn’t there and we waited awhile longer for him. Our eyes peeled looking for his red (we went back to look at pictures, thank God for camera phones) shirt. She was so excited for him. We talked about it the whole way home. If Duane could do it, maybe she could do it too. She was so inspired. We talked about going back so I could run the Air Force this year. I will be running the Half on Saturday. It’s hard to believe now, that was only a year ago because it seems so far away, yet so recent. Grief is strange in so many ways, I guess.I miss you more than you know, Mom, and I love you even more than that.  

Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday to you. Happy Birthday, dear Mom, Happy Birthday to you! 

Mom & Me at the finish line of my first Half.

At the finish line of the Columbus Marathon 2009.

At the finish line of the Flying Feather.

Me & Mom

Dad, Me & Mom at the finish line.

Mom & Me finishing her first 5K

Me, Mom & my sister at Mom’s first 5K.

Mom after her first 5K.

Me and my parents on my 29th birthday. The last day we took family photos.

Me, Mom & her good friend at the finish line.

Me, Bart Yasso & Mom. She was thrilled!

Until the next mile marker when we meet again,



  1. Melissa McMullin says

    Happy birthday to your beautiful mother! I’m sure she is smiling above you right now. 🙂

  2. RunningMandy says

    Happy birthday to your mom!!! I can relate to the voicemail thing, I did that myself with my sister.
    I’m glad you’re taking it easy on yourself today…the war with food can wait for an easier day.
    Enjoy the mexican food tonight…and call if you want a friend to talk to! ((HUGS))

  3. Megan Landry says

    Thank you for sharing this post with us. It makes me appreciate my mom more. I cannot take her for granted.

  4. Sending a bit hug to you as you celebrate and honor your Mother on her birthday.

    Lovely remembrance, Sara.

  5. What an awesome, inspiring mom you have and what a beautiful tribute. I went back and read how you lost her–how devastating to say the least. May her memory live on in your heart forever. Love her list! : )

  6. Happy Birthday, Mom!!

  7. Paige Phillips says

    What a beautiful tribute to your Mom. Reading this made me forget the stresses of the day and think about what’s important in life..family. Thanks for that.

  8. I love your mom’s tips! I hope you feel a little better tomorrow!

  9. Dave Parsons says

    Your mom is looking down and smiling at you and is so proud of what you continue to do each and every day. My thoughts and prayers are with you as I know this isn’t an easy day for you. Best wishes on Saturday in your race!

  10. Sara, that post was beautiful and such a tribute to your mom. I didn’t know her, but I can only imagine how proud of you she is, watching you heal and pick yourself up again to keep her memory alive.

  11. Kimberly Turner Bouldin says

    What a beautiful post, Sara! I never had the chance to meet your mom, and I am sorry that I didn’t, as she sounds like an amazing woman. I am sure she is smiling down on you & your sister.


  12. What a nice way to remember your mom. I bet that’s really hard not being able to call her whenever you want and to hear her voice.
    Good luck on your half this weekend! It will be an emotional run.

  13. Angel Rivera says

    I was just browsing through shareholic and read your page. You are amazing!!
    I hope I meet some great friends and start running like you..

    take care,


  14. What a sweet post… My dad’s birthday is coming up and even though I think about him every single day, it’s birthdays and holidays that seem to affect me the most. He loved to celebrate and it’s not the same without him. Keep all your memories close to your heart…. Hugs.

    • Sara- Words to Run By Blog says

      Thanks Nanci. I appreciate your thoughts. I am sorry to hear your father is no longer here, either. Next month will mark two years since my mother passed. I still think about her and miss her everyday.

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