In Loving Memory

For once in my blogging life, I think I may be at a loss for words.

April 21. Today marks the one year anniversary of my mother’s sudden passing.

And I don’t know what to say. I’m not even sure how I feel.

One year of birthdays, holidays, celebrations, other anniversaries, triumphs and failures. I never noticed before now how quickly a year goes by. Just one.

Yet, at times, it feels like it was yesterday when I got the call from the policeman to go to the hospital immediately. I remember that day as if were yesterday. I remember where I was, who was around me, what he said, what I said, I even remember what I was wearing. It is a day that will forever be seared into my brain.

I remember bits and pieces of the funeral – a whirlwind of friends, family, loved ones. I remember she was buried in her running shoes with some other sentiments from me, my Dad and sister. I remember the flowers, the rain and the sudden impropriety of the whole world. I hated God and everybody. At times, I feel I am still working to forgive the former.   

And yet, I can’t remember what she was wearing or what we talked about the last time I saw her. I just remember we were having breakfast with my friend Wendy. It was a good day that day. Mom was happy. She has just run nearly 7 miles (well over her goal of 6.55 miles) and we all decided to go to breakfast. She ordered the crepes with extra strawberries from First Watch. She loved strawberries most of all. I ordered chocolate milk. Wendy ordered coffee. Mom left early, Wendy and I talked for an hour or longer. It is a happy memory, but one that is escaping me.

Just four days later she was gone. Just four.

How could any of us have known?

Not even one day has gone by since then that I have not thought about her – talked to her, cried out for her, laughed for her or missed her. There is a hole in my heart that will never – can never – be filled.

Running brought us closer than we had been since childhood. I will always run to remember my mother, no matter how old, tired, sick or injured I happen to be. It is my one earthly connection to her. I feel her beside me when I run. I know she is with me during those times.

If Mom were here, she would want you to know one thing: THIS. She was so proud of it; she had me proofread it right after she wrote it.

It is in the spirit of her thoughts and her determination to be a runner and complete the Cap City Quarter Marathon last May (which she did not get to do), that my family had these words inscribed on her headstone:

“The miracle isn’t that I finished. The miracle is that I had the courage to start.” – John Bingham

These same words by Mr. Bingham grace the pages of my blog. And it is because of my mother and father that I did in fact find the Courage to Start almost three years ago now. Since then, running, health and fitness has transformed my life into something that matters. The people I have met, places I have been, relationships I have built and opportunities gained are priceless, yes, but they would have been worthless had not taken that first step. And, if my parents had not been there every step of the way after that.

I love you and miss you greatly, Mom. No words can accurately describe either sentiment.

Amarillo by morning, up from San Antone

Everything that I’ve got, is just what I’ve got on

I ain’t got a dime, but what I’ve got is mine

I ain’t rich, but Lord I’m free

Amarillo by morning, Amarillo’s where I’ll be…

Amarillo by morning, Amarillo’s where I’ll be.

Until the next mile marker where we meet again,



  1. Michelle McCaskey says

    Great post & tribute to your mom. Love the quote idea – very touching.

  2. I am so sorry!!! There is nothing I can say that will make any words seem meaningful. Just know that you had an amazing mom and amazing memories. Hugs to you and prayers for your family!

  3. hugs to you!

  4. I wish you condolences and strength and admiration for your journey. Your mom exists in you, and you certainly seem to be treating her well.

  5. Hugs, love and well wishes, Sara my beautiful BBFF. I remember this day like it was yesterday too. Her essay about her journey was an amazing thing to share. xo

  6. runningperseverance says

    wow friend. i am always thinking of you but definitely thinking of you at this time. i know this is such a tough time for you. i also know your mom is SO proud of you and with you always. i feel like im at a loss for words too. i cant imagine what you are thinking or feeling. but know that you are in my thoughts and you are so strong and making your mom proud each and every day!

  7. JennsAdventures says

    My heart aches for your pain.. You are such a strong woman, and are touching the lives of so many people. Never stop running, and even more — never stop writing:) <3

  8. I love you and am thinking of you and your family. Your mom was a really special lady that reminded me of my own mom. Loved having her on the trails with us and miss her contagious smile and spirit.

  9. Sara, I love these pictures of you with your Mother. So beautiful and such happy times. Wonderful that running brought you even closer. What a lovely gift. My heart has ached for you so many times over the past year as you experienced all the ‘firsts’ – it is so hard and you have been so strong and brave and I am sure your Father and Sister are grateful for your love and support as well. Good to record your memories and keep them in your heart. You are in my thoughts.

  10. RunningMandy says

    I am thinking of you and your family today. Hugs.

  11. Beautiful post and tribute.

  12. Sasha Rodriguez says


    I don’t think we could ever get over of a passing of loved one especially someone very close to us like our Moms. Thanks for sharing this post – it made me appreciate my mom more and the life I have right now.

  13. Sending hugs your way!


  14. I hope you are doing ok. I can’t imagine how difficult yesterday must have been.

  15. Jessica Fries-Gaither says

    More hugs to you. Finally got to read this and now I’m in tears at my office. Beautifully written.

  16. Suzanne Westenhofer says

    Hugs for you Sara! I know this was a rough day for you.

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