Running in Circles…

Only a grieving parent can understand what it is to be “drowning in grief”.  You feel like you’re in a pit of quicksand and as it closes in on you there is no getting out.  You can’t breath, you can’t pull yourself up, you have no strength as you lay their wishing that it will just swallow you up… swallow you whole and make it quick because the only thing you want in this world is to be with your baby again.  I would give anything at all to be with Tanner again, to hold him again, to hear him again… and the only reason I am not there with him right this very moment is because Chase needs me equally as much.  I am not religious but I do believe that I will see Tanner again, and I know that my Grandma, who raised me, is raising Tanner in heaven.  I have to hold on to that, to keep sane.  To keep my head out of the quicksand.

I keep so busy between work and the Lexiebean Foundation and Chase with all his activities which are only really just starting… sometimes I feel like I’m running in circles and getting nowhere.  Why can’t I just run out of this crazy circle and be on the “right path”?  There is no right path anymore, because the life I had planned, the life with my wonderful husband and two beautiful boys, has been derailed and changed forever.  Nothing will ever be “right” again. 

A year ago I was drowning in grief.  I was un-healthly, overweight, and not taking care of myself in any way at all.  Why should I take care of myself?  I spent a year and a half taking care of Tanner’s every need in ways that Momma’s should never have to do.  I held him down while doctors injected needles of chemotherapy into the port on top of his head.  I suctioned his mouth when the sores of mucusitis grew so big from the high dose chemotherapy.  I applied bacitracin to the burns on his face from the radiation therapy.  I bathed him in an infant bath seat in our tub when he could no longer hold himself up in a seated position because tumors spread to his spine were causing paralysis.  Mommas are supposed to be able to kiss a boo-boo and make it go away, and I couldn’t do that.  I kissed every inch of him every day and prayed and pleaded and tried every treatment the doctors had to offer, and yet I couldn’t save Tanner from his cancer. 

I still drown in grief, but I have found a means of treading the waters of grief.  A year ago, I started running.  It lets me push myself to my limits, it lets me run until I can’t run anymore.  It’s like screaming with your whole body.  Since running is a healthy outlet for my grief I have used it as a tool to spread awareness about pediatric cancer, and awareness about The Lexiebean Foundation.  I run, every step, every breath, every mile, with Tanner in my heart.  A year ago, I couldn’t run to the end of my driveway.  Now I run 8 miles, and am looking forward to a half-marathon this fall.  If one person at a race asks me about The Lexiebean Foundation, or about Tanner, I feel it was worth it.  One more person knows who he was.  One more person is educated about pediatric cancer.  One more person to help us help children with cancer. 

On September 29, 2013, I am running a 6 mile (10K) leg of a 50 mile relay from Jones Beach to Oyster Bay.  I am really looking forward to this event, as we will have 5 teams of 8 (40 runners!) all doing just this… spreading awareness for pediatric cancer.  Letting all their friends and their friends’ friends know what the Lexiebean Foundation is all about.  We will be running with our kids in our hearts and we will be raising money to help the kids who are currently in treatment.  The kids who’s families need help getting Christmas presents because they are drowning in medical bills.  The kids who’s families can’t afford their funerals, and are now drowning in their own grief.

Please help us help children with cancer.  Visit our website or sponsor my run on September 29th by going to my fundraising page.  Skip the $5 latte today and know in your heart you are helping to put a smile on the face of a child with cancer.  As a mom who has been on the receiving end of that donation, you can never know how much it means to us.


I will never stop running in circles, because my day will always begin and end with heartache.  But I know that my running will in some way benefit another suffering child in my Tanner’s name… so, I keep on running.


Tanner’s Momma



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