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5 years

Part of me can’t believe that I just typed that number with the word years behind it. I can’t believe it’s been that long since my mom passed away after battling breast cancer for four years.

5 years ago I lost the strongest, most influential person in my life. I never thought my life would be the same. It’s not the same, but I have learned so much and these five years have been five years of growth and discovery. I have learned to love more intensely and cherish those little smiles and things that happen every day. I adore and appreciate so many people in my life who have stepped up and have become role models to me. I know how lucky and blessed I am to have had her in my life for 20 years. I never imagined my life without her and though that’s a reality now, I know she is so proud of me. I still recall the last voice mail I got from her, she randomly called and told me how she was so, so proud of me and loved me so much. I still hear that replayed in my head.

Even though my mom is gone, as my brother said a few days ago, “The best memories you have of her are in your heart, and no one can ever take that away from you.” Though I miss her often, the memories paint pictures of a beautiful friendship and childhood that I was so incredibly blessed with.


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  • Reply Laura Georgina

    A big huge hug to you today. You KNOW your mom would be so proud of you. And, as someone who has lost a parent (my dad died ten years ago) I agree with your brother–those memories are forever.

    April 6, 2011 at 9:38 am
  • Reply Heather

    I am so sorry you have to experience a day like this to begin with. You are so strong and have a great attitude about it. hugs!

    April 6, 2011 at 9:42 am
  • Reply Julie (A Case of the Runs)

    Your mom will definitely always be a part of you and the good person you have grown to be. I’m sure she’d be really happy to see you succeeding in your running, work, and life.

    April 6, 2011 at 9:42 am
  • Reply Paula @ Eat: Watch: Run

    Ooooohhh, that made me misty reading that.

    It’s true though. The memories you have keep her alive.

    April 6, 2011 at 9:43 am
  • Reply atout

    I’ll be thinking of you today. I lost my mother almost 16 years ago (when I was 14) and I still miss her each day. I’m sure she is so proud of you and the woman you’ve become!

    April 6, 2011 at 9:44 am
  • Reply Ally

    Thinking of you today, sweet friend. I know how hard it is to lose your mom. Nothing will ever replace her, but, you’re right, she is proud of the amazing woman you are!

    Keep those memories in your heart and she’ll always be with you.


    April 6, 2011 at 9:44 am
  • Reply Mrs. Jetplane

    Oh sweet friend. I’m thinking about you today. As the daughter of a cancer survivor and a granddaughter of one that has past, I feel your pain. Love you girl.

    April 6, 2011 at 9:55 am
  • Reply Anne

    You are an amazing woman and with every day you got to spent with your mom she gave a little bit of herself to you. She is most definitely living on within you. In your heart, your soul, your memories. Wishing you strength on this surely tough day.

    April 6, 2011 at 9:56 am
  • Reply Carolina Girl

    xoxo Thinking of you today friend!!! Your mother raised a beautiful, sweet daughter!

    April 6, 2011 at 10:16 am
  • Reply Michelle@crazyrunninglegs

    Reading this made me ache! Having a daughter, I constantly(morbidly) think of stuff like this. If the same were to happen, I would hope that she would grow up to be a strong and amazing woman like you are!

    Her memories are always kept alive by you. Just keep spreading her stories, her love, and her strength!

    April 6, 2011 at 10:17 am
  • Reply natalie


    Thinking of you today.

    April 6, 2011 at 10:19 am
  • Reply Steel Springs

    This is really sweet. I’ll be thinking of you today.

    April 6, 2011 at 10:41 am
  • Reply Ali @ Ali Runs

    Thinking of you on this difficult day!

    April 6, 2011 at 10:42 am
  • Reply Nicole

    Brought tears to my eyes! Love you koo koo! Think of you always and am 100% sure your mom is looking down on you during this amazing time in your life! I’m always here if you need a friend! <3

    April 6, 2011 at 11:43 am
  • Reply Jackie

    Sorry you lost your mom at such a young age, but glad that you have wonderful memories to enjoy. Take care.

    April 6, 2011 at 12:01 pm
  • Reply Lisa

    I don’t know if you remember but a little while ago I emailed you and told you I also lost my mother to cancer when I was 21. Your post was beautiful and you are in my thoughts and prayers. My heart aches for your loss, but the memories you have will be with you forever. I for one, am inspired by your strength and positive attitude. Blessings to you today and everyday :)

    April 6, 2011 at 12:07 pm
  • Reply Ashley

    My grandmother just passed away last Sunday and she was still so young. Her heart just gave out. This post really made me feel better and I am just as sorry for your loss. Hang in there and God Bless.

    April 6, 2011 at 12:40 pm
  • Reply Lauren @ Sassy Molassy

    Yes, the memories are some of the best parts we can carry on of others we love. And you just being you is continuing your mother’s legacy.

    April 6, 2011 at 1:21 pm
  • Reply Kim

    You are a strong person, but remember, you don’t always ‘have’ to be strong. We never think of ourselves without our parents and when it happens, we get lost, afraid, lonely, angry, and sad. Sad for the times that will never be, but like your brother said, you have those memories in your heart and as long as you keep your heart full of life and love, then you will always have your mom with you. You will become the person your mom wanted you to be, you will become the person you want to be because of your mom. I feel so blessed that we have connected. Hugs to you today and always.

    April 6, 2011 at 1:41 pm
  • Reply Kristen

    you are such a strong person and your brother is so very right!

    April 6, 2011 at 2:33 pm
  • Reply Mollyberries

    Oh girl, I know what you are experiencing all too well. I lost my father 6 years ago to lung cancer. I have great days where I remember the good times fondly, and I have terrible days where I am sad and miss him oh so much. I love what your brother said, he is so right. We are so incredibly lucky to have had 20 great years with fabulous people in our lives. It really sucks that they aren’t around in the flesh to be with us now, but I believe they are watching over us fondly and that fills my heart with joy, hope and love.

    April 6, 2011 at 8:07 pm
  • Reply Toronto Girl West

    Sending LOTS of love your way Danica! :o)

    April 6, 2011 at 8:16 pm
  • Reply Sydney

    What a beautiful post about your mom!!!! I’m thinking of you and admire your strength and determination…your mom is beyond proud of you!!!

    April 6, 2011 at 10:08 pm
  • Reply Jessica

    That was so wonderfully put. You are such a strong person!

    April 7, 2011 at 5:29 am
  • Reply Bonnie

    You honor her every day with being the best woman you can be. Beautiful post.

    April 7, 2011 at 5:58 am
  • Reply Christine

    you are so strong! thinking of you this week, xoxoxo

    April 7, 2011 at 7:24 am
  • Reply Glenn Jones

    Big hugs. I’m sure you make her proud to this day.

    April 7, 2011 at 8:36 am
  • Reply Mary Rose

    I too lost my mom at the age of 21. That was 30 years ago and I still miss her like it was yesterday. I treasure in my heart the beautiful lady she was and have always tried to live my life so that she is proud of me! I love reading your blog, keep up the great work. I know your sweet mom is smiling from heaven as you go about leaving your mark on the world around you. I found you by accident because I’m training for my very first Avon Walk for Breast Cancer. Your account of the 2 day event was awesome! Now I check back just to see what’s going on in your world! Best of luck with your wedding planning. BTW…your reception food sounds amazing!

    April 7, 2011 at 11:50 am
  • Reply Allison H

    I cried reading this. I lost my mom almost 3 years ago to cancer. Someone asked me my greatest achivement vs my worst moment, and I asnwered this; My greatest achivement would be my two beautiful girls, My worst moment would be the day I lost my mom. I will never be the same without that piece of my heart. I was 26 when I lost my mom, but I know she is always with me and always listening when I talk to her!!

    April 7, 2011 at 1:30 pm
  • Reply Carla @ I Run, You Run

    Think of all the years you did spend with her. Those will be yours forever.

    April 7, 2011 at 2:42 pm
  • Reply Jason

    You write such great tributes to your Mom… you were lucky to have her as she was lucky to have you. Goodness to you, Danica!

    April 12, 2011 at 11:39 am
  • Reply Christel

    She’s still in your heart. This made me tear up. Great tribute!

    April 15, 2011 at 2:18 am
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