My grandmother passed away on Saturday at the age of 95. She lived quite the life, and she was always funny and entertaining. She laughed at all my jokes, put up with my crazy antics, swore I hadn’t changed at all since birth (I assume I was always this entertaining haha) and even posed for photos with me while I ‘forced her’ (read: encouraged her to do so, because “At 90+ you can do or say what you want, Grandma..”) to the give the finger.
For as long as I can remember growing up when she was calling for you in the yard, she’d go through every grandchild’s name before getting to yours (including the boy names) every single time. When I was getting in trouble this was awesome because it would sound like something along the lines of “Oh… Samantha, Mark, Trevor, Melissa, Matthew, er…Chad.. OHHHHHH REBECCA! WHATEVER your name is, get in the HOUSE!” and by then I would be half way across the yard in the opposite direction. She played cards, darts and bowled. She patiently sat with us all and tried to teach us how to play euchre. (I never caught on).
She taught me what I remember to be one of the first jokes (a play on words) I understood, and I like to think I’m pretty funny – so I owe this all to Grandma and her coffee cup. It read: I never make mistakes. I thought I did once, but I was mistaken. Now, I’m not sure if you get how hard it would be to explain that play on words to a 7 or 8-year-old, and I figure Grandma had her work cut out for her – at the time mini Rebecca had felt it was all too obvious that you had, in fact, made a mistake if you had been mistaken. It was clearly written on the cup. 😉
The reason I bring this all up isn’t that I want everyone to be sad or feel bad. I just want you to know that this weekend had many highs and lows, but ultimately will always be one to go down in the books.
Run for the Love of Pete was something I told my grandma about recently, and she kept telling me how proud she was of me. I wasn’t sure how much she understood, because our conversations were all at yelling level, as her hearing had been going a bit, but I’m glad she got a chance to hear about it.
My dad wasn’t a perfect man. He made mistakes, he did the best he could, but ultimately was one of my favourite people that I have ever met. He was often the class clown when he went to mining conventions, always volunteered in the community where we lived, and defended me by yelling at all the neighbourhood kids when we got carried away chucking ice balls at each other. He was a gem.
I’ve been really lucky to be graced with such gems in my life, and organizing the Run for the Love of Pete was something that I have been saying I’m going to do for a long time. I announced the run, started a new job, and was going to cancel the event because I didn’t feel like I had dedicated enough time to it (or the marketing of it). However, when you announce that you’re going to do something like my dad always told me, you must follow through or else people won’t believe you if you say you’re going to do it next time. And so I did.
Running is rather polarizing – some people love it, and some people really hate it. There are in between people who sometimes run, and sometimes don’t run. Most of my friends are the ‘don’t really want to run’ type people, but that didn’t stop them from running on Sunday, or volunteering to help organize and ‘run’ this race. (Pun always intended).
That being said I want to thank each and every one of you who ran, volunteered, encouraged me at any point before, during or after the race, gave me pats on the back when I selfishly needed them and made donations to the Heart and Stroke Foundation, or cooked brunch for ravenous runners (which is like risking your life via sticking your head in the mouth of a lion – don’t get between people who have run a 5K and a pile of pancakes is all I’m saying ;))
Organizing something that you hope will be a giant race one day, really makes you thankful for all the people that are in your life. I really lucked out in the friendship lottery of life. Surrounding yourself with great people reminds you why you strive to be better each and every day just like them. So thank you, thank you, thank you. You all mean the world to me!
So, the first Run for the Love of Pete is dedicated to my Grandmother, Mary Coe. She could rock that white hair like no other. Although her name isn’t in the title of the race, and she probably never ran in her life (except perhaps running after me or any of her other awesome grandchildren in the yard..which might count..) she was a woman who will not be forgotten.
She always reminded me to be better & to not take my gift of making people laugh for granted, and my dad always told me to do the things that scare me the most.
This Sunday amidst the laughs and jokes while running the Run for the Love of Pete 5k (and coming in last so that no one else did) I thought about how Grandma and Dad were probably looking down at me from somewhere shaking their heads, and making some joke about how I actually managed to pull this all off among all the other crazy things I always have going on like I do, and it made me smile. ❤
Do those things that scare you the most, they are guaranteed to be some of the best things that you ever do.