Revlon Run / Walk For Women’s Cancer 5K – NYC Edition
What an amazing run today!! I knew the weather was going to be terrific but that was and is an understatement. My husband and I arrived at Time Sq. round 8:15… It’s defiantly strange to see that area closed off for the morning.. Living in NYC you tend to be used to all the noise and racket of traffic and for that to be just shut off was AWESOME! I had heard from a good friend of mine that ran the NYC Half Mary how amazing it was to run through the city and through the park and now it was my turn to on a much smaller scale.
Revlon and EIF did an excellent job with the set up and Race.. With Over 20000 Runners and Walkers doing this for a great cause, Women’s Cancer Research.. You can’t help but well up with tears reading each and everyone’s sign as you passed by. I opted to have a tank top made with my Nana’s name on it instead of wearing a sign that would surly come off at some point of the run. and there were a lot laying around as I came around.. So to the race.
The Start: Olivia Wilde and Emma Stone were our ambassadors this year. It was nice to see Olivia Wilde come down and take the Run / Walk with us. She is as beautiful on Tv as she is in person and so is Emma Stone. Olivia was with her friends and family walking for her friend who was a survivor of breast cancer. So hats of to you!!! As the countdown came down and the Confetti went up.. We were off.. But not so fast! LOL. It was a little cramped getting out of the start onto 7th Ave. But as we were set free it was Game on! The City is so amazing to watch as you run by. Seeing and noticing things you normally wouldn’t.. This City is so big and the architecture is So amazing! I couldn’t help but take it all in..
Mile 1: So you start down 7th Ave. heading towards 59th Street.. I began to understand the magic that is running trough our city… It was surreal… When you approach 59th St. you are like YES!! the park… oh wait we aren’t entering here… Bummer.. But that’s okay that means we haven’t hit the hills!! OH MAN the HILLS!!! I dunno if I am ready for this. As I made that turn around 59th street I began to remember my running thought processes…. to Get out of my head.. and start thinking about how amazing I am and where I have come from.. in the past year I have lost well over 70 Lbs. I have run a 10 miler at Disney and I still have a list of Races on my table so the whining would have to start and I would need to turn up the music and get my POWER SONG on. That was just what I did.. I hit the entrance to Central Park around 5th Ave with a whole new M.O and it was on….
Mile 2: THE HILLS!!!!!! it was like a roller coaster of hills once you got in to the park.. and I was like yea…. Allison was right.. I really do need to train on my hills!! It was sorta funny to see how upset people who weren’t running this race get pissed that we were running on “their” territory. My thought was Running Snobs.. Every Club needs to have them. LOL! But some of them did give me high fives and told me how awesome I was doing! Around mile 2.5 I started to get the, “Oh Crap I need to go to the bathroom” feeling.. and guess what? The Bathrooms were all ZIP TIED CLOSED! What the hell.. I had to walk the feeling off because the bouncing up and down was killing me… After a brisk Walk.. I pushed on and ended the race by the Band Shell… My Nike – Watch had me at 2.88 Miles with a time of 31:28!! I’ll take it!! I PR’d in a way if I figured it correctly! So I am pleased with myself and I am even more thrilled to have Ran this for my Nana! She would of been proud of me as the Revlon Carried her favorite Red Lipstick! I love you NANA! You are missed more than you know! And I will always run with you as you run with me everywhere I go! ❤
Below is my nana’s story and her fight with cancer!! Please read and I hope you enjoy!! Love Life and get Checked!!
|A Little Close Up of the Medal|
Nana and her Decision To Not Receive Treatment!
Growing up we all had hero’s. They Ranged from the Lone Ranger up until today’s Modern Day Hero Dora the Explorer. But to me they were false idols. I believed that you should look up to someone who affected peoples lives including your own. With that My Hero has always been My Grandmother, Kathleen.
If you sit and think about her life you’d see an amazing singer give up her professional career to marry and follow the love of her life, Edward. Kathleen, better known as Kay or as by my family and I, Nana, would follow Him from country to country and from state to state. With 7 Kids. At the Helm she did it with such grace and poise.. Never once complaining, she took to the pilots seat when my grandfather was called off to war.. I remember over the summer Nana Joked, “While you were on vacation, I was taking care of the kids and we all know that is more work then you have ever done!” I still get a chuckle out of that Thinking about Nana’s face when she said it.. It was Serious but at the same time had the best sarcastic expression one could buy… My Grandfather even chuckled at the comment and left it with, ” Yea Right!”
I remember as a child sitting in the formal living room of their house in Connecticut playing tea party at the leather Asian tea table . When I was all set up I would go to the Piano and Pretend I knew how to play, playing like I had fingers made out of bricks. I would start whaling words into the air making up lyrics to my amazing tunes and Nana would come in and try to help me out. But there were the times where I thought she thought there was no hope for me! But She never minded me playing and/or singing.. I remember countless of road trips in the Griswald Family Station Wagon with the boat attached to the back on our way to Topsail.. We would only listen to Big Band Music, Glenn Miller, Sinatra, and Dean Martin. My Grandparents would hold hands and sing to each other.I knew then that was the happiness that I wanted to find in my life. I then would eventually fall asleep on the floor of the car underneath either Kathy’s or Eileen’s legs.
Summers at topsail were the greatest of times for me and still continue to be. Summers meant to me 1 – 2 weeks down at the beach with all of my cousin’s, aunts, uncles, family, and friends. But most importantly it meant time spent with my Nana and Pepa. Our Routine was simple, Wake up early pepa would have already been down to the Crooks Green House to pick up the days news paper, OJ, and Donuts. Pepa would be already started on Breakfast.. Any shape of Pancake you wanted, Pepa could make it.. If you wanted the worlds best Egg Sandwich’s, you went Straight to Pepa. I don’t know what he does but man it makes your mouth water just thinking about it. Nana would then rise from her Bedroom ,Bathing suit on, her infamous sandals, and a beach hat….. She would grab her bag and look at everyone and say.”Who’s ready for the beach!” We all run to our bedrooms put our bathing suits on grab our stuff on the way down and off we went… Now the Mennona’s don’t come in a small package; there is a lot of us and we’d take up a good portion of the beach Just ask the neighbors or Phil Stevens. Nana would place her chair and her umbrella, take a seat and sit there and watch all of kids until it was time to head back to the house to watch Soaps… I remember I would go back with Nana and Eileen and we would make sandwiches, Chocolate Milk, and have some sort of chips and watch Soaps.. Even though I had no idea what was going on it was my time to spend with my Nana.
When Nana was diagnosed with Breast Cancer it was sort of a blow… How does the one person who is so kind, so non judgmental, so loving, and so caring end up getting a disease like this. I remember taking my grandmother to Radiation Treatments and I remember nana thanking me for taking her because when I did, with out fail every time the doctor would say, “You’re in luck today, the Radiation Machine is down!’ Nana would look at me and say, “We should do this more often!” and we would just laugh.. I remember my nana would have to do exercises with a stick to strengthen the muscles that had been weakened by the radiation treatments.. and she would stand by the wall of the living room and pepa would say, “come on Kay you’ve got 5 more” ,and then Uncle Matt would Chime in’ “Come on Mom you can do better the that!” She would get this look on her face as though she was going to take the stick down and all of a sudden become a ninja and take everyone out at their knees with her last bit of strength… She wouldn’t say anything though… and I think at that moment is when I realized she was in fact my HERO!!!! That she would not let this illness take her down and she would stand strong, firm, and beat all the odds! She was determined! and that determination stood True almost 2 years ago when we first thought we would Loose her! But like a stubborn Irishman she stood tough and strong and beat those odds once again!
In October 2008 I got married and I think the best part of the whole experience was the fact that my grandparents where there. They where Living it up in Las Vegas by Gambling into the wee hours of the morning! Even with my grandmother having a hard time traveling she had made it… And even though the bride is supposed to be the most beautiful thing in the room that day…..My Nana had me beat! I always Light up when I see my grandmother’s smile surrounded by the red lipstick she always loved.
This summer as I was preparing to go down to the beach for one last get away for the summer I got the news that my Grandmother had cancer again but it wasn’t breast cancer this time, It was Lung Cancer and later we found out she also had Pancreatic Cancer. I was nervous to go down there because I knew my Grandmother was truly upset that this had happened to her again but I knew that this was my time to have some time with my nana for what might be the last time! I arrived in Topsail to find my grandmother as always hiding the pain and the sadness but she Welcomed my best friend Allison and I as always with Open loving arms. I brought nana down some of her favorite foods that my mom used to make her. My Mom’s Fried chicken and Soups that for some reason only my mom can make correctly. Nana didn’t eat much when I was down there but she did eat her Oreo’s and milk because as we all know that was nana’s own medicine she prescribed to herself. My Grandfather took us all out to eat at one of nana’s favorite restaurants.. My Friend Allison who I must say is a Die Hard Yankee fan met her match that day… Allison was wearing this Yankee pendant. That Pendant caught my grandmother’s eyes like a a toy in one of the Macy’s or FAO Swartz Christmas Windows would for a kid.. Nana reaches over and gently grazes my grandfathers arm and goes, ” Ed Look at that! I want that! Where did you get that!” Allison’s eyes popped out as she clutched the pendant in her hand. Allison and my grandmother began the talk about the Yankees… When we got home that evening after dinner ,Allison had excused herself to use the restroom and Nana had come behind my head and goes, ” Let’s go, Where does she keep her stuff!” Nana really wanted that pendant! A couple of weeks after we had returned back to New York, Allison sent my grandmother her other pendant! My Grandmother wore it with pride as her oncologist was a Boston Redsox Fan! Pepa always used to say if nana Saw something she wanted she’d some how get it! And Well She did along with a number of things for other family members!
Summer came and went and the news got worse. Nana had made the hardest decision but the most Admirable decision of her life… If the Chemo was going to be too harsh and too tough she didn’t want to go through it again! I remember Getting a call from my father, her eldest son, asking that I come down for thanksgiving that it is imperative that I do so.. I made arrangements to do so and even left a day early…. I get to Virginia to my father’s house and he states that we are leaving that same day… So After 5 hours in a car I had another 6 hours to go to get to Topsail. We hadn’t even Parked the car when we got to the Lower Cape Fear Hospice Center when I started welling up. I wasn’t prepared to see my grandmother the way that I was about to see her. Her Skin felt so soft like I remembered it as she used to caress my face as she would give me a kiss hello or goodbye but it was so cold. This was not the way I wanted to see her or remember her. So I kept the memory of the night we went out to dinner together when she saw Allison’s pendant repeating in my mind..When we had arrived her blood pressure had gone up like she knew my father and I had arrived. We stayed at the hospice center over night trying to wrangle how to get comfortable in an arm chair…Which I found out is completely impossible especially when you are all worked up and have your mind going a mile a minute. When The sun Had risen we had decided to go back to the house that we would be staying at and take some showers, eat something, and get a little rest….. Later on that evening we had gotten a call from my Aunt saying that we needed to get there as soon as possible… My father and I jumped in the car and headed up to the hospital.. My Aunt Trish stated that she new we were there because her breathing pattern had changed when we entered the room… It wasn’t more than 2 minutes later at exactly 10:55pm and my grandmother took her last breath and received her angel’s wings! It was probably one of the most Solemn moments to witness. The room was filled with family and as we all comforted each other we all knew it was for the best and it was her time to Dance and sing in the sky and I am sure that those who went before her had her Martini ready for her when she arrived! I think what helped me through a lot of it was seeing that my grandfather for almost 28 days never left my grandmothers side.. Even in her last moments he sat beside her holding her hand. To me seeing how he handled it made me understand what True Love is, What devotion is, what sacrifice is, and what it is to just know it’s time!
My nana was graceful, elegant, charming, non judgmental, loving, caring, devoted, and so much more than I can put on paper.. And If we could take anything from her life lesson is everyone of those things and more.. That there would be no one left behind, that everyone was loved no mater how much they might have screwed up in life, How devoted, Caring, and loving she was to EACH AND EVERYONE OF US! That we would not judge anyone by their actions or countless mistakes… And that we would never stop loving each other the way she love all of us. I’m happy and grateful to say that my grandmother is my guardian angel and the Guardian angel of everyone in our family and to everyone she has touched in her life and with that it should keep her pretty busy as everyone knows we have one heck of a family! Nana I love you and I will miss you, Thank you for being my hero and thank you for giving me such a role model to look up too!