Jun 26, 2010

I Love You But...

this post appeared on nycmomsblog.com on November 16, 2008

I love my family. My husband, my kids, my sister, my in-laws, my nieces, my nephews. I love my dad. I love my mom, my sister... I love my friends. But on the first Sunday of every November, every year, as I stand on the sidewalk just around the corner from my brownstone, I am struck with the realization that I probably don't love them enough.

For My Dad With Cancer! screams the permanent marker scrawled across the back of some NYC Marathon runner's purple shirt.

Running for My Mom!

In Loving Memory of (fill in the blank)! And so on and so forth.

The NYC Marathon becomes a blur of fast-moving, dedicated, people who love their families more than I love mine.

As I stand there applauding and shouting out the name of every person who bothered to draw their name out of tape on their shirt "Go Lucy! Great job Robert! Lookin' good James!' I feel like less of a human being. Do I even have a heart?

Probably not.

It's possible that the voice in my head that doesn't want me to work out is stronger than my capacity to love the people in my life. The few times I've tried to run more than a few blocks (and of course, I have to be wearing the exact right no-bounce bra--one that's earned 5 barbells in the Title Nine catalog--or I can't even attempt to dash across the street) my head is filled with this:

Oh, come on. Give it a rest. What's the point. You hate this! It'll never be over. This is going on forever. Nothing about this is good. Everything hurts. Just stop, why bother?

Stuff like that.

So family members and friends, I've said this to you every November, and I'll say it again. I will be so sad and sorry for what happened. I'll miss you more than I can ever explain. I will be filled with grief and I will pull the curtains closed and eat chips and dip in front of the television for months. I'll shave my head, I'll get a tattoo. I will go to a thousand dark movie theaters and sob away, in between milkduds. I will be unable to get out of bed.

I might consider moving to the Seychelles and starting over. And I might consider going about my life, business as usual, but with a hole in my heart, eyes that will never see the same way, and a brain that will be forever altered. And I might consider doing something heroic in your honor. But training for and then running twenty-six-point-something miles? Forget it.

I'll draw your name on my shirt. I'll wear that shirt all the time. I love you, everything I do will be for you. But I won't do that.

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