Tuesday, February 15, 2011

13.1 for FORT!

Dear Melissa,
I'm doing it again...ANOTHER half marathon. For YOU. (registered a month ago, which didn't give me much time to train...hmmmm...sound familiar? But I KNOW you would be proud of me anyway...)
I will NEVER stop working to raise AWARENESS or $$$$ for Breast Cancer Research. I hope that in my lifetime a cure is found for Breast Cancer. If not a cure, a way that people can live with it for a long time. My hope is that NO OTHER MOTHER will have to bury her daughter.
I love you and miss you EVERY SINGLE DAY.
Mom xoxoxxoxoxoxoxxoxoxoxoxxo


Drew & Poppop try to clear the walks so Pam-ma can train...but it wouldn't stop snowing...(excuses excuses....)

A pretty good size branch broke out of our tree from the ice storm, our power was out for THREE DAYS...how could I possibly think about TRAINING????? (Ok, that happened the week before the marathon...I'm just sayin'.......

The two photos below were basically my "training" for this half marathon...you've already heard my excuses...too much snow, too much ice...blah blah blah.....
WELL. I TRULY believe that ANYONE can do a half marathon..if you are in decent shape- do SOME kind of exercise...you can do a half marathon. If you recall, when I did my FIRST 3 day walk, Melissa called me just a couple of days BEFORE the walk -
"MOM. The Kelts raised enough money - YOU can do the walk WITH me!"...
And I DID NOT THINK I could walk 60 miles in 3 days. But I did. (I guess walking 4 miles a day in the summer was enough training...) So for the half marathon...I did it too. WITHOUT a lot of training. But I will tell you now that I HIGHLY recommend doing SOME training. I am in a little more pain this time and I think if I had done a little training, it wouldn't be this bad. (Couldn't POSSIBLY be because I'm getting older, could it????)

on the treadmill in the hotel ON THE WAY to Jacksonville...(this will help, won't it?) And of course a beer with Jen will REALLY help...

FRIDAY, February 11, 2011

My dad drove up from Melbourne to Jacksonville to visit for a night. The FIRST thing he and Donny did was compare their injuries...Dad fell (again) in church and Donny has a ruptured tendon (shoulder surgery coming up soon)...

Getting ready for the race...Here's to YOU FORT!!!

Barb, Donny & Jen...Donny looks pretty happy here...hmmmmm....must be the beverage...

Irv (grandpa) & Steve make a trade...dad gets a coin, Steve gets a bracelet.
(There is more to this story...while Jen, Barb, Donny & I were in the hot tub, dad stayed in the room - it was WAY to cold for him. When we went back to the room around 9 - he said "are we going out tonight?" WHA??????? I'm too tired (after driving all day yesterday) and he wants to go out? So Jen suggested we go to the Lounge in the hotel. PERFECT. While we were there, Barb made friends with some sailors who were in port in Jacksonville for the weekend (I think they were all medics on the aircraft carrier George H.W. Bush). When they found out dad was a Navy man (he was on the Aircraft Carrier The Midway 1950-53)...they were all about HIM. It was awesome. He was in heaven...and ended up with a coin from the Commanding Officer!!!)

The coin...

Saturday, February 23, 2011

The sunrise view from our window Saturday morning...we had a GREAT travel agent...

Barb, Jen, Donny, Sharon, Irv (Fort's grandpa), Pam after breakfast...getting ready for a busy day!

On our way to the Expo..with a good view of the shirt!

We are running (or walking) in the Donna Marathon. This is me with Donna. (by the way, I was really hoping to see Donna wearing the FORT bracelet I gave her at the Expo. Jen ran by her and didn't see it...so Donna - if you are reading...I hope you didn't LOSE it!)

Team B Positive at the Expo...(missing from picture - Brenda & Stephanie)

The had several walls to sign for the "Memorial Mile" on the beach...left a message for Fort...

Had to get a picture of all the different FORT shirts... I love it!

Sunday, February 13, 2001 - RACE DAY!

I have three layers on and adding another...
it started out a VERY cold morning @ 5 a.m.!

my "STUFF" is ready to go...food, water, camera, phone, FORT cards and bracelets.
I'm ready.

10,000 people waiting to get started. 7:30 a.m. Sunday morning. It was around 35degrees. 10,000 people ALL with a breast cancer story. AMAZING.

Jen, Sharon and I all carried rugby balls this year...ok...they were MINI rugby balls, but we carried them - for FORT. She would have approved...

Donny & Barb greet us on the beach!

This sign said "BEER for the BRAVE"...a BEER STOP. So I had to stop and have one for Fort...

Here's to FORT! (@ the 8 mile mark)

I don't know if this guy did the FULL or half marathon...but either way, he ran in a suit AND a mask and I was impressed!

This photo was on the bridge - we were almost to the 10 mile mark - LOTS OF GREETERS on the bridge, and the BEST sign (especially for the end of the race)... CANCER CAN KISS MY TIRED @SS!

ALMOST there.....

This is one of my FAVORITE stories from this weekend...after I texted the "toast to Fort" picture @ mile 8 to some of her rugby friends - one of them (KAT)forwarded it on to HER friend who was ALSO in the marathon! When I crossed the finish line, first we saw Jen & Barb, THEN I heard someone yelling "PAM!" I looked over and she was yelling at ME. I looked around and said "ME?????" So I went over - it was "T" - she was a former teammate of Fort's on the Kelts!!!!! It was amazing. THANKS T for finding me (I know the SAFETY YELLOW shirts helped!)...I loved meeting you!

After the race...BALLS, BABES & BEVERAGES

Made lots of new friends in the runners village ... Jen was NOT too happy about the placement of HER rugby ball for this picture...

Met the Jacksonville Women's Rugby team in the Runners Village after the race - HAD to get a picture with THEM!

We gave out LOTS of FORT bracelets this weekend. This is part of TEAM B POSITIVE for the Atlanta 3 Day (Jen somehow talked them into registering while we were having lunch...and they DID!) New team members - Melissa, Maria, Katie & Amanda! WOOHOO!

A tradition - a dip in the ocean after finishing the race...Melissa (Jen's friend who was visiting - now a member of Team B Positive for the Atlanta 3 Day!), Jen, Sharon & Pam

Jen's tradition of getting in the water means REALLY getting in the water...she dove in right after this picture! GREAT way to end an amazing weekend.

We had a slight change in plans for the trip home. A fraternity brother and good friend of Donny's lost his 28 year old daughter, Courtney, to Ovarian cancer. We got the text on the way to Jacksonville. (Interesting side note - a few minutes after reading the text, the song "Only the Good Die Young" came on the radio!) Fort is ALWAYS sending us songs...and I KNOW she was the to greet Courtney. Courtney was a LOT like Fort - she was an excellent athlete and fought cancer until the VERY end. We never had the pleasure of meeting her - but heard a lot of great stories, mostly about her battle. Fort has ANOTHER friend in heaven....

Saturday, February 12, 2011


If you are reading this blog for the first time (and I'm HOPING there are lots of new readers after this weekend)...PLEASE go to www.fortscancersux1.blogspot.com
That is where Melissa STARTED the blog - and you want to read what SHE wrote. You can also look down the right side of THIS page and go to the archives. Anything before Jan 2009, MELISSA wrote. Her last post was Christmas Eve, a week before she passed away. She left you thinking she was going back to work... She will make you laugh out loud. She was an AWESOME writer...I just took over where she left off. But please read HER writing...thanks for reading. It means a lot to me. -
Pam (Fort's mom)

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Grandchildren are more fun than children because...

...before I go there, I need to precede THAT story with a couple of stories about Melissa. Because all mom's have a story to tell. Something that our kids said or did that we hope NO ONE ever finds out. Then WE tell the story...

(NOTE – these are TRUE stories. How could you make up something like THIS?)

When Melissa was in pre-school, believe it or not, there were parent-teacher conferences.(I always thought it was more like day care/fun time. But NO....) She was probably four years old at the time. At the end of the conference, I made a comment something like “I'll bet kids this age tell lots of stories. Has Melissa ever said anything funny?”...Her teacher's response was “I was hoping you wouldn't ask”. I should have excused myself at that point. But again, NO, I had to hear what she had to say. I guess during class one day Melissa told her teacher that “My dad takes pictures of my mom with no clothes on...” and wouldn't stop talking. You can IMAGINE my embarrassment...no matter WHAT I said, I was guilty (even though it WASN'T true)...if I denied it, I looked guilty, if I admitted it I was guilty. Where in the WORLD would she come up with a story like that? Needless to say, I laughed all the way home, and called Donny as soon as I got home. (Of course he had to tell the story at work, and whenever I would call, whoever would answer would ask “do you have your clothes on?”...HA HA. We never COULD figure out where she got THAT idea....

Story #2 – It was Father's Day, and of course on Father's Day, dad's play golf. So Donny was up and out early. I was working on a cross-stitch for MY dad for Father's Day. Some really nice poem called “What Makes a Dad”. Well, I had about an hours worth of work left to do on it, and I had a 3 year old and one year old running around the house getting into everything. A little stressful. Got a little upset, yelled at the kids and got THEM upset. But I wasn't mad at THEM, I was mad at their dad for playing golf when I had something I needed to do (even though it was Father's Day...)Then I felt guilty. So I sat down, hugged them both, and crying said “I'm sorry. I'm not mad at YOU. I'm mad at your DAD. You know, we're going to get an apartment, just me, you and Nick. Your dad is never here anyway...blah blah blah.....”.
Fast forward to the end of that day. We go to Donny's parent's for a cookout for Father's Day. The whole family (all seven brothers and sisters and his mom and dad) are sitting in the living room, talking, lot's of noise....THEN Melissa runs up to Donny and says “guess what dad? Me and mom and Nick are getting an apartment!” Of course all talking in the room STOPS and everyone looks at ME. Donny says “What is she talking about????” My response? “I don't know....”

The moral to the story? I learned to NEVER say anything in front of Melissa that I didn't want repeated! (Her aunt used to take her shopping for Christmas, and before they would go, she would call all her sisters and say “Hey, I'm taking Melissa shopping, anyone want to go?” because they LOVED to hear Melissa's stories. It never changed, did it?

OK. Now that you know that I wasn't a perfect parent, I can tell my story about my grandchildren...

Nick called one day last week around 5. “Mom, can you go help Mere. She is really sick and can't take care of the kids.” I told him to tell Mere to leave the front door unlocked and I would be right over.

When I walked in the door, Mere was laying on the couch moaning. (She had the flu AND strep throat...VERY sick)...she went right to bed. The boys? They were running around, having a GREAT TIME....without a stitch of clothes on...(both of them!).

Drew ran into the kitchen and said “Look Pamma, I'm doing the dishes for mommy”.
Of course it was a nice thing to be doing for his sick mommy, but I needed to get clothes on both them. That was my first course of action....

In the kitchen, there were remnants of McDonalds on the counter. I wasn't sure HOW long they had been there, but probably since the morning, so I threw it all in the trash. Then I filled up the sink and proceeded to do the dishes. I heard something behind me, turned around, and MAX WAS EATING OUT OF THE TRASH!

He had what was left of a McDonald's hamburger in his hand chomping away....with a BIG smile on his face. Like – what's wrong Pamma?

When Nick got home, I shared the story with him. He said “Can you imagine if Children's Services would have walked in on that scene?” I said “Mere would have said TAKE THEM.” She was THAT sick....and if you are a mom, you've been THERE.

Now I want you to know that I did ASK Mere if it was ok to put this on the blog – and she was laughing and said “I don't care.”

Fort would have just POSTED IT. Thank goodness this family has a sense of humor....

Have a good day...indoors if you are in the midwest. The ice storm cometh, and snow is on the way! I am SO ready for spring....

(OH - to answer the questions why are grandchildren more fun than children? Because you realize that in the big picture, some things are just plain funny. So you laugh a lot more and take a lot of things less seriously. Grandchildren are the BEST MEDICINE in the world!)