After almost half a month into the new year, I can proudly conclude that I am well on my way to accomplishing one of my resolutions. The motivation for it really came to me after a vivid dream with my Grandpa. He passed away in 2014 from a battle with Alzheimer's and dementia.
It was Christmas morning and we were all in the living room opening gifts. My grandpa was there, and he was in his normal state, long before the effects of Alzheimer's took over his mind. He was wearing his signature light wash jeans and crew-neck sweatshirt. And I still remember how piercing his blue eyes looked as he stood and smiled over us. He was telling stories and laughing, and I remember thinking "wow, he really looks great." All of the sudden, I begin crying and ask him for a hug. I tell him I miss him, and he responds back, "I miss you too. But I am always with you and watching over you everyday." This must have immediately jolted me out of the dream because I woke up pretty hysterical. It felt so real and I truly believe he was reaching out to me. This was the first person close to me that I have ever lost, and I still struggle knowing he is gone. I can still hear his voice in my mind and I try to hold tight to every single memory I have of him. The dream felt so real and it makes me believe that he is out there and making sure I am OK.
After talking to my husband and mom about it, I knew I wanted to do something in his honor in 2015. When I came across a 5k event for Alzheimer's, I couldn't imagine a better way to celebrate his life. The race isn't until April 25th, so I have a good amount of time to prepare. I have already started testing my endurance by running on the tread-mill a few days a week. My goal is to get my time down to 30 minutes. That sounds like plenty to achieve 3.1 miles, but I was never a fast runner. I was always the girl who couldn't keep up with the sprinters on my soccer team, so instead I embraced my strength of kicking and potentially knocking girls over if they were in my way. Just last night I ran 3.1 in 35 minutes, shaving a minute off my initial time just a week ago. If I keep this up, I know I can do it.
This race will not only test my will and my body, but my mind as I will be thinking of one person the whole time. If my grandpa could only read this and know that I love and miss him so much. I will always keep him in my heart, and remember that he is with me. I know I will make him proud.