I don’t really share about my personal, PERSONAL life but something is telling me to, she is. The first week of December my mom came to spent the entire month with me and my brother. We had tons of fun activities planned out. The first day she came, I did Track Shack’s OUC half marathon. The next day she wasn’t feeling well and then got worse. We took her to the hospital and she spent all month in the intensive care unit with no progress.

Our family wanted her home for Christmas but our wish didn’t come true, she passed away of pneumonia on December 26. One thing is for sure, my mom was one hell of a fighter and her strength was immeasurable.

I usually run on the treadmill for safety so my service dog, Lyssa can alert me to attacks. I’d run with her on the trails, but she isn’t fully trained. Almost. Yesterday I did 6 miles on the treadmill so I didn’t really have a run planned but I just thought I’d run a quick 3 or 4.

But something told me to go run outside on the trail. I said OK, fine. The weather was a bit warm, but had a nice cool breeze. I thought to myself..I’ll only run easy and take more walk breaks than usual. And since I run on a trail, I am always on the look out for snakes and alligators because yes, they have crossed my path. But for some reason today I wasn’t paying attention to that, I was just running…just simply enjoying the run and being in the moment.

Then suddenly, I turned my face to my right as if someone pulled my face in that direction. I looked down and saw 4 butterflies. One in particular caught my eye so I stopped to approach it, and as you know butterflies generally fly away when you get close to it right? This one was the only one to stay near me. As I got close, I noticed that its left wing was broken and my heart nearly stopped. It had been happily flying around with no problems and having fun with its friends as I came running by.

Why is this so meaningful? My mom and I have a special connection with butterflies. She would often read her book in her patio and have a butterfly fly around her, she would then later call me and say “There was a butterfly flying around me today, you aren’t having a good day are you?” or “A bunch of butterflies visited me today, you must be in pain.” And she would be right. I’ve been having an unexplained pain in my upper left back/shoulder for a few days that I can’t shake off.

One of the GREAT things my mom always was and had, is that she was a great motivator and she believed in me like no other. I’ve been through hell and back with my health and she was always by my side. She has seen me at my weakest and my strongest. But always had the most encouraging words to say during training, on my bad days, and on race day. One of them that stands out the most was a reminder that just because my wings(back) are broken, doesn’t mean I can’t fly with the others. Just because my wings aren’t made like others, it doesn’t mean I can’t achieve my dreams.

“Just because your wings are broken, doesn’t mean you can’t fly.”

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Then I realized that the butterfly I had my eye on, had a broken wing exactly where my pain was. Yes she was happily flying around without a care in the world. Proving in fact that with broken wings, you can fly. My mom was there with me.

With out a shadow of a doubt I know it was my mom reminding me to stay strong and keep reaching for me dreams. She probably can’t call to tell them that, but she told me today. You mustn’t give up on any dream. I deal with a lot, but I don’t let it get in the way of my goals. I don’t have it easy and it’s just going to get worse, but I just stay strong and keep moving forward because that’s what you do in life. We all have battles and obstacles, just depends on how we handle them, but we all overcome them. Today my mom reminded me of my strength, she always told me I am the strongest person she knows and I have a feeling she will keep reminding me forever ❤

I love you mom, thanks for running with me today.

-gelcys

 

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