2016 was easily the worst year of my life. It began with the unexpected end to a relationship that left me feeling like my life was over. But as the year went on, with the help of my incredible friends and family (especially my mom), I healed.
As part of the healing process, I signed up to run the NYC marathon. Although extremely daunting, it was so helpful to me to set a goal and have something to dedicate myself to throughout the spring, summer and early fall.
Ten days before the race, a package from my mom arrived containing a Tiffany key chain with the race logo, the date of the marathon and my initials engraved on it. As I opened it, tears streamed down my face because the gift was such a perfect symbol of my upcoming accomplishment, and I felt so lucky to have such a supportive family. But then four days later, I received the worst kind of phone call that is anyone’s worst nightmare – my brother from the ICU sobbing uncontrollably telling me to get on the next plane home to Cleveland, where I grew up.
My mom was unexpectedly in critical condition and it was unclear if she would remain stable. Within seconds, my co-workers booked my flight and took me in a cab to the airport. I blacked this entire experience out and remember very little of it because all I could think about was that my mom had to be okay – there was no other option.