Nick

Kara

4.20.2011

Triathlon Results and Memories

Here are my triathlon times which don't mean much to me except for the run.   I would have thought my swim time would have been maybe in the low 7s, but this included getting out of the pool and running to the mat. I feel like I should have gone faster, but I think I was trying hard. I don't really know.  My goal for June 26 is to get on the bike more and figure out how to use it properly so that I don't get my A** kicked again.  After that, we'll see if I do more triathlons. :)  Thank you to my sister for letting me borrow all of her stuff, going over transition with me and coaching me.


My First Triathlon - Sprint
Swim 450m 8:01
Bike 10 miles  44:46
Run 3.1 miles  24:36
Total time:      1:24:01
30/89 females
3/7 age 30-34
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Last Thursday my great Aunt Mary passed away. She was my mom's aunt (my mommom's sister) and my mom was very close to her, being one of her main caregivers. She never married and did not have any children. She was 95 years old.  Her funeral was yesterday. She lived a good life, and had many nieces & nephews who loved her and a constant flow of visitors at her house through the years.  She was a smoker for the last 75 years and never had any complications until the last 5 years or so. Eventually her lungs were not strong enough to fight pneumonia but I cannot believe after all that smoking that she was in good health for such a long time.

I have alot of regret and the last week has been difficult. I went to visit Aunt Mary when she was in the hospital nearby and she was completely with it.  She asked me how the kids were doing and Bill and who was watching them - then she remembered it was a Sunday.  What killed me is that she said she never got to see Kara. I never brought her to visit.  I  did bring Nick down before he was mobile but I got nervous of bringing Nick to her house and getting into everything and worried about the smoke  and I just made up excuses and didn't bring them down after Nick was about 5 months old. I feel horrible about this.  When she was in the hospital last weekend I did not know it was the end of the road. It was naptime on a Sunday and I still had to grocery shop, so I was watching the clock. I think I stayed 45 minutes but I should have stayed much longer.

Besides talking about eating meat - she was always intrigued that I stopped eating meat and proud to tell me when she wasn't eating too much of it. We talked about this at the hospital too. The funniest thing that she said was that one of my Uncles looked huge on a magazine cover. She was always totally honest and never sugar coated anything. Whenever you went to her house, she always had homemade biscotti and tea, and she was always dressed like she was going to work: stockings, skirt to her knees, and button down cardigan. I guess this was a thing of the past, when I am her age, I will be wearing sweats. I'm pretty sure of it!

Throughout college and after college, I visited Aunt Mary a handful of times.  We had long conversations on the phone and she ALWAYS said 'love you' at the end.  One time after college I remember her telling me she was getting lazy making coffee because it was downstairs and it was a big coffee machine so I sent her a 4 cup one to put upstairs. I don't know if she ever used it but I think it made her day. For our wedding she gave me a piece of china that was passed down through the family. It's a serving dish that I cherish.

So the past few days I have been full of regrets. Why didn't I visit in the past 9 months? Why didn't I call as often as in the past? I know that I am busy and I think in the last few years she just became more bitter but this is no excuse.  I regret that I did not visit or stay in as close of touch as in the past. And to top it off, my mom, who I sometimes have issues with her bossiness, asked me to bring the kids down at least 10 times. I feel awful.  I suppose this is common when someone dies and I will learn a lesson to cherish the time with my grandparents and older people, but it has just been really hard. That was all I could think about yesterday at the services. 


Aunt Mary holding Nick, 1 month old, March '09


one of my favorite pictures from our wedding
Aunt Mary shaking Bill's hand at the receiving line.

14 comments:

  1. Sweetie, I'm so sorry for your loss. I agree it is completely normal to have these feelings. But I think it's important to focus on the happy memories that you do have. Yes, you may do things differently going forward, but you can't dwell on what you can't change. She clearly knew you loved her - and you know she loved you. That's what's most important.

    (Congrats on the Tri, btw, your results look great to me!)

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  2. So sorry about your aunt. Don't beat yourself up. I'm sure she knew you loved her and the best thing you can do is pass your memories of her on.

    Congrats on the tri. Hope you had fun!

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  3. I'm so sorry about your great aunt. :(

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  4. Sorry to hear of your loss. I think it's common to regret certain decisions we may make in our relationship with the deceased, but I'm sure she knew that you loved her and cared for her, as she did for you.

    As a side note, it is amazing how some smokers can suffer little or no consequence for a lifetime habit, while, unfairly, it is possible to get lung cancer and never be a smoker. My grandmother smoked for 50+ years, and she died of causes completely unrelated to smoking.

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  5. I'm so sorry for your loss, and the regrets - I think that no matter what you had done, you'd still have them. It's a natural part of mourning, but yeah, you'll probably always think twice now before saying no to a visit. For me, it took my youngest son looking at a picture of MY grandpa and saying that he wanted to meet him. Dagger in my heart that he was 7 and hadn't met his great-grandpa. We made the trek from Texas to Las Vegas, spent a day with him, and Max still remembers how we went out to breakfast and great-grandpa let him order ribs (this was Vegas - you could get anything day or night). He died a few years later.

    Hugs to you - I know it's a difficult time.

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  6. i'm so sorry to hear about this! :( thinking of you! hugs!

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  7. I'm sorry :-( I think naturally I would have done the same thing though and not take the kids often if she smoked so much.

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  8. So sorry Natalie. She sounded like a real trouper. I think like many have said, no matter what, regrets will be there.Hindsight is a wonderful thing, but daily life is always less black and white. Big Hug to you at this time.

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  9. Sorry to hear about your aunt. My mom's aunt, my great- aunt is like another grandmother to me. Try not to feel any regret, you did what was best for your kids. Sorry, hope you are feeling better about this.

    Congrats on the tri, nice work!!!

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  10. I'm sorry to hear about your Aunt. Don't beat yourself up. Try as you might, you can't do everything.

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  11. Sorry not to have commented sooner - I'm just getting caught up - and I'm really sorry to hear about your aunt. I worry that I'll have similar regrets, after my grandmother passes away. She's 94-years-old, and a really difficult woman, but I know that I should be better about reaching out. I guess it's a careful balance we all have to find... I hope you're doing okay, a few days later.

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  13. First of all, congratulations on your tri! I think your times look great :)

    I just posted a comment mentioning your grandmother! I apologize as it is your great aunt that passed and I am sorry to hear that.

    Don't feel guilty for the things you didn't do. That is a common feeling when someone we love passes. And realize that you were likely looking out for your children if you limited their visits with her due to her smoking. That's just a "MOM" thing to do!

    Cherish your happy times and fond memories--sounds like you have many!

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