For the second time, I had the honor of speaking with Sarah Bowen Shea on today’s episode of the Another Mother Runner podcast. Sarah had wanted to host an episode in which a few guests would speak about the influence of their parents on their respective running journeys. It is a lovely episode, co-hosted by Ellison Weist, and you should listen to the entire thing from start to finish. I am the last guest, and my conversation with Sarah starts around the 56-minute mark.
I loved that Sarah wanted to talk about my mother and her presence in my life in the years since she died (May 22, 2000). There are really very few circumstances in which people are eager to hear me talk about Mom. I will never stop missing her, and her physical absence is of course a source of sadness, but I rarely talk about her with sadness. I love telling stories about her, especially the ones that have stayed with me and driven me in different directions throughout the course of my life (and especially the ones that have to do with running). I often get the sense, though, that people aren’t sure how to respond to my talking about her. Should they offer condolences, 18 years after the fact? Should they ask questions? Did they accidentally ask something that brought up painful memories, and should they change the subject? Sarah herself, however, lost her father this past year, and I got the sense that she welcomed the happiness-gratitude-sadness cocktail of Mom-related stories that I had to share. I have listened to her tell many stories of her father on the podcast, particularly of the athletic pursuits they shared during his lifetime, and I love that she loves to inhabit her memories of him just as I do mine. I am grateful to Sarah for the opportunity to speak with her about a subject that is so dear to me. Enjoy, and subscribe to Another Mother Runner (especially if you yourself are Another Mother Runner!).