March 26, 2016

Mark, a long run, memorial service, and cookie cake

Today is the two-year anniversary of Mark's death. I cannot believe that is has been that long already! It seems like just last week that I was bringing him milkshakes and coffee. There really hasn't been a single day that has gone by in the last two years that I haven't thought about him in some way or another.

This was Mark waving good-bye to me a few days before he died
I won't go over his whole story again, but here is the link if you want to read about what a special person Mark was in my life. He has made me see life differently--I'm extremely grateful for what I have, and I always try to find the positives about situations.

I can't drive past a McDonald's without thinking about his beloved strawberry shakes; or Big Boy without thinking of the time I asked him about the best thing he'd ever eaten (he told me it was a hamburger from Big Boy, and I said that I'd love to take him there when he gets better; he told me, "Oh, no, that's too expensive!" I wish we'd had the chance to go, but he was never well enough.)

Anyway, I couldn't let today pass by without mentioning Mark. Thank you again to all of you that sent him cards, gifts, positives thoughts, and prayers--he felt so special getting all that mail! ;)

This morning, I had plans to meet Stephanie for a 10-mile run at the State Park. Jerry and I had to leave for his friend's memorial service at 11, so Steph and I met early at 7:30, right after the sun came up. Steph hadn't run 10 miles since November, when she did the Monroe Half Marathon, but I promised her we'd go at her pace and walk if needed. She said it would be 11:30-12:00 pace, which was fine with me!

It was colder than I anticipated, and I was really glad that I ran back in the house to get gloves before heading to the park. I wished I'd grabbed warmer ones, because my hands never did warm up throughout the run. We did a lollipop route, starting at the very top of the lollipop. Despite being a little cold, it was a great morning for a run!

The miles went by really quickly (for me, anyway) because we were chatting the whole time. I love having company on long runs! We took a quick walk break a couple of times, but other than that, Stephanie was actually running a great pace. I think the talking was distracting her from the fact that she was running sub-11 miles ;)

I really can't believe how fast the run went by; before I knew it, we were back at our cars. It was a great run! I was expecting 12-minute miles, but we finished with about an 11:00 average. And I burned more than 80 calories per mile, which made me happy (lately, it's been in the 70's for my calories per mile! One of the downsides of losing weight...)

Steph said she had something for me, and oh, boy--she sure knows how to make me a happy girl! Yesterday was her son's birthday, and they had cookie cake to celebrate. She brought me a leftover piece of cookie cake that she'd actually decorated with frosting, just for me! I knew exactly where those 828 calories I burned were going...

I brought it home and shared it with Jerry and the kids (it was actually a really large piece!), so I only ate a quarter of it, that I estimated at 420 calories. It was homemade, and much better than Mrs. Fields! (Thank you Steph!)

Then I had to get ready to head to the memorial service. Jerry and I rarely get dressed up (just for weddings and funerals, really), so I got to wear a dress that I'd never actually worn before. I bought this dress at a garage sale in 2013. It still had the tags on it ($80 from Express), but the zipper was broken. I'm pretty handy with a sewing machine, so I bought the dress for a couple of bucks and hoped I'd be able to fix it. I did, and was thrilled! However... it was too small.

The dress is a size 4, and when I changed out the zipper, I ended up making it just a tiny bit smaller by accident. But I held on to it, hoping that one day I'd be able to wear it. I decided today was the day, so I tried it on--and it fit! It was a tight squeeze around my rib cage, but I love it. It makes my waist look tiny (you can't really tell from this picture, but it's a flattering dress).

It's strapless, and that didn't really feel appropriate to wear to a memorial service, so I threw a shrug on over it. Jerry and I cleaned up pretty nicely ;)

The memorial was much different than I was expecting. It wasn't at a funeral home, but at a banquet hall. They had a delicious lunch and an open bar. There were a TON of people there--it was actually difficult to move around because of the crowd. Jerry's friend was clearly well-liked by a lot of people!

Several people have been asking how Jerry's dealing with his friend's death, and he's doing good. We had a long talk yesterday afternoon over a glass of wine, and it felt nice to have a real, grown-up conversation. Jerry told me all sorts of fun stories about his friend, and it made me wish that I'd met him. We talked in-depth about suicide and even that was a good conversation to have, because so few people talk about it. It's an uncomfortable subject, but it affects so many peoples lives in one way or another that it really should be talked about more often.

On the way home from the memorial, I thought a lot about Mark. Despite the sad moments of today being the anniversary of Mark's death, and the memorial of Jerry's friend, it was a nice day. I've been feeling very grateful lately for the time I get to spend with Jerry!

I hope everyone has a nice Easter tomorrow :)


  1. I'm so sorry to hear about Jerry's friend. Please tell him I am praying for him! I loved reading your posts about Mark. He was such a cool guy! Congrats on your dress find and fix and fit! Gorgeous picture of you guys! You look amazing!

  2. Thanks for explaining the truncating. I won't let it bother me since there's a reason. :)

  3. I had a great time on our run--it went by SUPER fast for me too! We really need to run together more often!

    That dress looks beautiful on you! You both do clean up rather nicely. ;)

  4. Don't apologize for making changes to your blog! It's YOUR blog!! And if it makes it so it's harder for people to steal your info that's even better! Also, that dress is beautiful on you! I vaguely remember the post where you bought it from a garage sale and thought you would look great in that color :)

  5. Thanks for sharing. I love how much you share, both about running and your personal struggles. Such an inspiration to an inspiring runner such as myself. Keep writing... and running!


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