Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Revisiting a Mile Marker

Thanks to technology today, you could start running at any point and your GPS gadget could mark down the mile markers for you as you run. It's really neat. I ran 20 miles with a friend recently who had a GPS running watch; he set the watch before we ran and his watch would beep faithfully every time we reach a mile. It's nice to have a device to remind you of markers in your routes; but for a bare runner like me, I usually take the familiar road and know all of the mile markers by heart.

In our life's path, we all have these mile markers that easily remind us of important events in our lives. Mile markers that evoke the same old feelings or perhaps some surprising growth. Around this time of the year, I am revisiting a few sentimental mile markers in my life's journey. Allow me to share them with you in my next few entries - not much about the event itself as it is about the meaning I take away from it.

Two years ago in early February, my wife and I sought a second opinion from a breast cancer specialist at the University of California in San Francisco (UCSF) Cancer Center and to ask about newer treatment plans and to even participate in clinical studies if need be, to find a cure for my wife's cancer. However, after interviews, evaluations and discussion with the oncologists, it was determined that my wife was too weak to tolerate the effects of any treatment plan. Not giving up hope, I wrote in her journal, "It seems to be a setback,but we still have faith on the current chemo drugs she is taking...We know that God continues to heal her through all the treatments. She is aware of her weakening condition, but she is not ready to give up just yet."

Ash Wednesday 2011.  Praying Runner with Jinky at
Kaiser Hospital a month before she passed away.
PR's reason for running...
Around this time of the year, too, is the anniversary of her cancer survivorship (February 7th). It was her  11th year. 11 is my favorite number and I was very hopeful for another full year. There were not many good signs though - "She's still having trouble with the coughing and pain on her left side due to fluid in her lungs. Mobility also an issue." - I wrote.

Looking back, I realized how difficult it was to hope against hope. But to do it for someone you love, you would do whatever it takes to keep moving on. You see the real meaning of taking it one day at a time because each day counted so much and you treasure every single one of it as it passes. So I finished my entry in the journal for that day quoting from an "oldies" song Today*.  "A million tomorrow shall all pass away, 'ere I forget all the joy that is mine today." I thank God for every 'today' I spend with her. I love you, Jinky. You are the home of my heart."

*The song "Today" on YouTube  (You can skip the commercial at the beginning.) Song was also popularized by the late John Denver.