I didn't even think of it when I registered.
Tomorrow is the Dirty Girl Mud Run. Have I told you that yet?
Yeah, yeah, I know I have.
What I didn't connect was how Dirty Girl proceeds go towards the National Breast Cancer Foundation.
And although it wasn't the beast that took her, my aunt, who passed away four years ago today, battled the beast of breast cancer and kicked the crap out of it.
And so I didn't even make the connection when I registered for tomorrow's race so many months ago.
That I'd be trudging through mud in honor of her, in a way. In her memory, a bit.
I knew it was coming. The anniversary. The reminder of loss.
I went on Facebook this morning and my mom had posted a picture of her. Them together. And I remembered. Remembered so much.
The battles. The moments. The memories.
I'm not in the mood to be sad. To trudge through that kind of muck.
I'm in the mood to remember her laugh.
Fighting to make her smile for the camera.
The way the needles moved as if attached to her fingers when she tried teaching me to knit.
Dancing in our living room.
Driving around with the 8-tracks playing. All the kids squished into the back of her car.
The Monster Mash.
Watching her walk on my dad's back.
There are more. Some good, some bad. Some empty, now, with her gone.
She drove us crazy. There were so many things I never understood. Never will have the chance to, truly, really understand.
Maybe someday. Somewhere. I don't know.
I like to think so. Sort of, kind of.
I think that hoping so makes it easier. To recognize that it's life. It's how it works. We lose the people we love. It's just the way. Whose way? Just THE way. We can't control it. We can't fight it. We just have to go with it and process what we can when we can.
And remember. Always remember.
The good with the bad. Because those memories make us who we are.
And as we move forward we hope to create more good ones. Memories of smiles and laughter. Hopes that our family will continue to celebrate so much. Even in feeling sad we recognize the frustrations. The loss of connections. What time does to relationships. But the memories will always tie us together. We share them. Even if we never say it out loud to one another. Even if we never talk again. They're there. It's just how things work.
And so we move forward. With hope and with love.