Monday, March 26, 2012

Looking Back At My Footprints

New Smyrna Beach Sunrise - greets me every Monday!
No surprises here. I've been consistently training 3 days a week for a 10K now for 8 weeks. No I've not signed up for one yet. I've completed two 5Ks and am signed up for another next month, and felt like it was time to push myself a little farther. So 6.2 miles it is. I'm also still trying to lose weight. Lifelong journey.

I'm presently up to 4.89 miles of running (with a 5 minute brisk walking warm up and cool down)....45 minutes of actual running/jogging. Eight weeks ago, I could barely even do 5 minutes of running. So the consistency and conditioning is really working. I love to run.

There is something that happens after the first 15 get into your groove..and then there is no stopping you. You feel...amazing! Actually, I feel amazing right now.

Sadly, when you have a weight issue, it is hard to see the differences in your body. Easier sometimes to feel the differences. That is where I am. A few days ago I was running in my neighborhood and I happened to catch a glimpse of my shadow. I just about died. No seriously. I wanted to stop running, sit down on someone lawn and cry. I looked at that shadow and said to myself..."you do not deserve to be running." (I know lies..all lies!) Literally struggled with the fact that even though I felt awesome and was actually doing it...and doing it well, I still had too much weight to lose and someone my size should not be out there running 5 miles a day.

Riverside Drive run in the rain....dedication!
My sweet friend and marathon runner Peggy goes to my church and happens to be married to my physician. She has been giving me books to read, articles and advice now for months. She has become my running coach. Giving me advice on the sport as well as the diet specific for runners. I talked with her about my discouraged image that I saw in that shadow. She of course set me straight. The muscle that I'm building is apparently making my weight loss slow down a bit. My husband says..."Strong IS the new skinny!" He couldn't be more proud of me right now...and remember I feel 100%.

So as I ran on the beach this morning (with my new running shoes), I looked at my footprints. I'm not entirely sure why I did that. I did notice however, that it really slowed me down. Stop looking back Lisa! Stop looking at the warped image of a girl who has struggled with weight her entire life. Look forward and the run will go faster, smoother and better! I don't want to even look to the side where I will see my shadow. Just keep my head straight and my body lined up and my feet going forward all the time. I building muscle. I building a life of discipline, a healthy lifestyle for my sons! I honoring God with my body and how I'm doing my best to care for it. I'm not perfect at it. I still have 30 extra pounds that I carry with me every single time I run. (Probably should say that I've lost almost 50 with Weight Watchers so far...still going!) I eat healthy, I exercise, I feel wonderful...but I have that baggage. I don't want to take drops, pills or shakes. I want to live a lifetime with the food that God has provided for me. Will I reach my goal. YES!

I will do it in God's time. Let everything will be the best time...He is preparing me for a lifetime journey. This will not end 30 pounds from now...this will be my life. Might as well enjoy the journey and stop looking back at my footprints!

Friday, March 2, 2012

Until We See You Again

Tonight we wait for the phone call. We've said our goodbyes, we have amazing memories and know deep in our hearts that Heaven is where he will finally have his mind and health back and that too is where we will meet again. Above is Pop and Shane..when we first moved here.
I reflect on when we first moved here 8 years ago. Pop was one of the few people in my husband's family who loved and accepted me. Moving to Florida was incredibly difficult, yet Pop opened his home and heart to my family and loved us as much as we loved him.
 We celebrated life every single day together..not just birthdays and holidays..but every day.
We made tons of memories together. Not too many boys can say that they have made a lifetime of memories with their great grandfather.
 Kyle prayed the most precious prayer tonight..."Jesus, please take him Heaven soon, I don't want him to be in pain or suffer. When he gets there Jesus can you give him a message from Kyle? Tell him I love him and I miss him, but I couldn't come and say goodbye, it was too hard. Please would you tell him that, and when I want to say something to him, you can give him the messages until I see him in Heaven."  OH I love this child.

 On of my favorite pictures of Pop!!

 So many sits on his lap. My boys were really blessed.
 He had a thing for Shane. I think because he was a baby when he moved here, Pop just enjoyed this child very much. Ironically enough, Shane had a thing for Pop too. Tonight Shane was the one child who needed some special time saying goodbye. He went and said it was harder than he thought it would be. He told Pop he loved him and kissed his cheek. Then he looked at Mike and said..."I have to cry now Dad..where can I go to cry?" So hard...but their love is deep!

 This is the Pop that would drive me crazy. Trying to raise 3 boys and one! Please stop climbing up on the counters...all of you!

 Mike and Pop had many many many long nights together. Especially in the past 4 years while Pop struggled with Alzheimer's and Dementia. One night in particular Pop accepted Christ as his Savior..after 7 years of living and witnessing to him. Thank you Lord for that blessed assurance.

 What God wants for Christmas, is you Pop!

So glad that for the past 7 months Pop had on earth, he was in a facility that could really care for him. He always seemed happy and alert when we would visit.
 My sweet Brendan (who has Pop's last name as his middle name), who for so long felt as though he was responsible for Pop. Years of watching his great grandfather decline in his mental health, my sweet boy felt that he too was Pop's caregiver. He would stay up late at night listening for Pop to cry out for Mike...if we couldn't hear him..Brendan felt as though he had to tell us. Countless nights of not sleeping here in the Engel house. Such sacrifices, by all of us..including my children. I pray for my boy who's heart is so sensitive.
 Just look at how alert he is!
 Many friends from our church embraced doubt he felt well loved!

 Gotta love the man who would have to wear his winter coat on the April. I'm gonna miss this man!
 The Callahan jowls. :)

Dear Pop,

Why is this so hard for me. I didn't expect to cry a river, yet here I sit unable to stop the tears. You are 94, you have lived an amazing life, one to be proud of. You have taken care of your family and have welcomed me as one of them. Thank you for loving me..for thinking of me as "precious cargo". ;) I guess I'm sad because you were the last link I had to Mike's family. I pray that the Lord would heal this unit. I think that part of my grief is that I probably spent the most time with you out of everyone in the past 8 years...and I am not sure what to feel right now. My heart is raw. It was so challenging towards the end. I couldn't even sit in the same room for too long...I was completely and utterly worn out...and felt horrible about how I felt. I knew that I was unable to care for you, to give you what you needed. Thank God for Michael. Oh I am so grateful to have this man as my husband and the father of my children. He loves you so much Pop. He was such an amazing caregiver. Watching him with you these past few years...made me even more grateful for the man God placed in my life.

I will try to focus on the memories. Especially early on..the ones with my boys. They are indeed blessed to have spent so much amazing quality time with you. You've made an imprint on their hearts. They are grieving tonight...mostly because...the love they have for you is very deep. 

You are on your way to meet Jesus face to face. I'm so glad you gave your life to him, even if you didn't understand it 100%, Mike always says...he believes your spirit man did...and now you meet my Jesus. He will give you a new name Pop. It will be...amazing! Don't'll always be Vincent Donald Callahan...and yes we know that the "O" got dropped in the ocean when your family came over from Ireland. 

Until we meet on that side dear Pop....I love you!

 "Where sky and water meet, Where the waves grow sweet, Doubt not, Reepicheep, To find all you seek, There is the utter East." - The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, CS Lewis