March 27, 2014


First, I want to thank you all so much for all of your kind words about Mark and my family yesterday. My mom and I were in total disbelief at all of the nice comments.

Mark's actual death hasn't been as hard on me as when I learned he was dying. I feel like I really mourned and grieved for him a week ago, when he got to go home and then wasn't able to get out of bed. That was when I realized that the treatments hadn't given him much extra time. As awful as it sounds, I am glad that he passed away quickly once he went downhill. I would have hated for him to suffer for weeks, because I've heard that lung cancer is very painful in the end. I'm glad that he's at peace now.

Yesterday, I went to the nursing home to bring is occupational therapists a thank you card. I got Tiffany a Tim Horton's gift card, because she used to stop there and get coffee for herself and Mark in the mornings sometimes, since he was her first patient. She worked so hard with him to get him ready to go home, and without her, Mark probably would have died in a hospital setting.

My older brother, Brian, and his fiancé, Becky, came in from Minnesota yesterday. Brian had been wanting to come visit Mark, and we had plans of going for a visit yesterday when I picked them up from the airport; but then we learned that Mark died just after midnight yesterday. Brian and Becky decided to still come out here, so I picked them up from the airport after I left the nursing home.

It was nice seeing them, and we picked the kids up from school to take them bowling. My parents, Brian, Becky, my younger brother Nathan, Jerry, Noah, Eli, and I all went. I didn't bowl, because I was feeling really sick. I had a bad headache and I was really congested. But was fun to watch everyone else, and my mom brought her iPad along so we could read all the comments about Mark on my blog and on Facebook.

I was so excited when I read a comment from Kimberly, about her random act of kindness yesterday in Mark's honor:

Mark would have loved that idea! :)

Even with the news about Mark, I decided to still go to my Weight Watchers meeting yesterday morning. Jerry is back to swing shift, so he went with me, too. Glenda, my leader, is so nice! She sent me a nice card in the mail during the week congratulating me on the Runner's World and Woman's World articles. And at the meeting yesterday, she gave me this:

It was definitely not necessary, but VERY thoughtful! I really look forward to going to my meetings each week now. Even when I get back to a free Lifetime membership, when I'm only required to go once a month, I'd like to continue to go every week.

Yesterday was a busy day, but by the time I got home last night, my headache and congestion were awful. I couldn't sleep much at all during the night, and I actually woke up with a fever. I haven't felt this sick in a long time! I'm going to rest all day today, with tea and Lifetime movies to keep me company. Jerry has the same symptoms, but just a day or two ahead of mine. He's feeling a lot better today, so I hope that this doesn't last long. I leave for San Diego in a week!

I have a busy weekend--Mark's memorial service is on Saturday, and my friend Audrey is going to be running her first half-marathon on Sunday, the Rock CF half that I did a couple of years ago. When I learned she was going to run alone, I offered to run it with her. So I registered for the race, and I'm just hoping that I'm feeling a lot better by then!


  1. I'm so glad that you have found a meeting that you enjoy going to! You all have been on my heart these past few days. Hope you have a peaceful weekend and that you feel better soon!

  2. I'm so glad you were able to say the things you wanted to Mark before he left you. That's a gift not a lot of people get when a loved one leaves,that's why we're *supposed* to share our feeling all the time, but life gets in the way. What great memories you have of Mark. He will continue to touch lives beyond his imagining.

  3. I think that what you did for Mark in his last precious months was amazing. I also believe that we should lead by example and you have showed us all that even the little things mean so much people. Bringing someone a coffee or snack, something we take for granted, can brighten up someones day. My goal now is to learn how to pay forward what I have been given in life. Thanks for leading by example.

  4. I'm happy for you that you found a meeting that you truly enjoy going to. I have been thinking about you the past couple days and hopefully you have been able to find some peace. I know that is not easy. Stay strong!

  5. I'm glad that you and your mom found so much comfort in all of our comments. See - even that is Mark at work - his life brought us all out of the shadows to help you:) For some reason, I've been thinking about your dad. Of course I don't know him, but you've said that he and Mark were friends for so long...I know that many men grieve differently than women and I just hope he gets to feel all the concern and sympathy that we've all been expressing too :) Peace Katie.

  6. I am so sorry for your loss. I think I posted the other day but I am not sure. That is such a nice gesture from Kimberly and also from your leader. :)

  7. Sorry you are feeling so awful - what a stressful week for you. I had a stressful day at work as well. I own a restaurant and when we get really busy, believe it or not, the hardest thing to do is find time for a meal! I didn't get time to eat much for breakfast or lunch, and I get really crabby when I am hungry! I realize that is pretty insignificant compared to your week...I guess I am just venting.
    Hope your weekend goes well, and next week will be better!

  8. Katie, I'm so very sorry. I pray for peace and comfort for you and your family. You made Mark's days so cheerful with all your kindness, love and support. The cards from all around the world - such a great idea! All the treats you brought to him - look at the smile on his face in all of those pictures. I hope you can take comfort in your time with Mark and know that you and your family made quite a difference in his life. Sending you big hugs! Will be thinking about you this weekend and beyond!

  9. You've been on my mind this week. Not sure words can express this season you're going through. The good thing is it's a season. Seasons change. I hope you feel better soon and have a great race!

  10. So sorry for your loss. I do hope when my time comes I am surrounded by deep love, such as you showed to Mark and his caregivers. You are truly an inspiration in so many ways Katie. Thanks so much for your strength and love and for haring that with all of us.

  11. It's not awful that you feel glad that Mark passed quickly. It is a blessing. I totally know how you feel. My dad passed away almost 2 years ago. He was 79 years old and his speech was becoming really slurred, so we were thinking he had had a stroke. When he went to the doctor and then a specialist, we found out he had ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease). It usually starts in the limbs and it is unusual to get it at such an old age. It was so hard to watch him struggle to swallow. It would take him almost an hour to get down about 1/2 cup of a thickened liquid. This disease can go on for years, but with my dad it was just 6 weeks after his official diagnosis that he passed, and his last week was in our wonderful local hospice that is just like a home setting. So yes, it is hard to see our loved ones go quickly, but also a blessing. My dad's body was his own prison and I was happy that he could be free. Much love to you and your family. I hope you are feeling well for your half on Sunday. XO


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