In Memory of my Brother

First of all , I want to say thank you to all who have been reading my blog. It has become a fun hobby and nice outlet for me and allows me to write about my passions: Family/friends, food and fitness. If you go back and read a few posts you will see that they are all pretty upbeat. Well, that is because I am usually a pretty upbeat kind of girl Smile!

Todays post is going to be a little different. I have good reason though.

June 14, 2008 marked the day that my brother, Robert went to live in his eternal home. That makes today the 4th anniversary of his death. When I hear the word anniversary I usually associate it with happy times. This particular one, is not.

My brother passed away at the much too young age of 34(my current age) of a rare disease, called Schwannamatosis . He left behind a beautiful wife of less than a year, and two of the most precious children. They were 6 years old and 5 ½ months old at the time. The biggest cause of my sadness is when I think them. I wish more than anything that he could have watched his children grow, to experience the love of his family with his wife. But more than anything, I wish they could have had the chance to know him better, to know the love of their father.

My brother with his baby boy. May 2008.

I 100% believe he is in a better place and I know we will all meet up again one day. THAT knowledge is one that does bring me peace and happiness!!

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So often we think of exercise as nothing more than an action we do to make our bodies look a certain way. For me, that is certainly one reason but it will never be the main reason. Exercise and healthy living has become a way of life. It is something that I do because it makes me feel good. It lessens my stress, helps me to have a positive outlook on my life and sometimes allows me to escape feelings of sadness or dread. I also do it because I believe that living a healthy life may possibly give me a prolonged life. There is nothing I wish for more than being able to watch my children grow into adults with families of their own.

I have been a regular exerciser for years but never has it meant more to me than it did four years ago. I wrote this a couple years back as a private diary/blog entry on a fitness website that I participated in but now seems to be the perfect time to share.

Running is so much more for me than just exercise, it is a little bit of therapy. I will give some quick background on why I started running…..but a warning, it is sad!! Two years ago(FOUR years now) my brother passed away at the age of 34 from a very rare spinal/neurological disease. It was sudden and so very difficult to go through. He left behind two kids, a 6 year old and an almost 6 month old baby. I had just given birth to my second baby 3 months prior to his passing. It was a super tragic time in my life but this is when I started running. Really running.  I ran to get out of my house, to get away from the pain, the memories of the past and the thoughts of a future without him. I remember running and breaking down during the middle of a run into gut wrenching sobs and it helped so much!!! After my brother passed, I kept running because I COULD. I ran for him and for his memory. I ran for him because for the last 6 months of his life he had very little mobility. Even now a song will come up on my Ipod that I ran to when I was going through this and I will give it my all, talking to him as I am running. As odd as it sounds, it makes me feel closer to him.

I wish I could say that my brother and I were close after childhood but our lives went in separate directions and really, we weren’t. We did talk but it most definitely was not as much as it should have been. I have my regrets about that but there is nothing I can do to change it.

My point in sharing all of this is simple: Life is short. Too short to constantly worry about what the number on the scale says or how many calories you have over consumed in a day.

Absolutely, 100%, healthy living should be a priority in your life. The key word however, is LIVING!!! Try not to become so consumed with the small things in life that you forget about what really matters. I still have to remind myself of this often. I have experienced tragedy and know better than to take life for granted but I am human and sometimes, I still do. So the next time a loved one invites you for a fun social outing, don’t say no just because you fear it may wreck your diet or because you will miss an extra hour at the gym.  Try not to allow yourself to be so consumed with your outward appearance that your inner self forgets to shine through. There will always be time to burn extra calories but there may not always be time to make special memories!!!

With that my friends…..I wish you a happy, healthy day filled with lots of love!!!!

In loving memory of my brother, Robert E. Miller, Jr.,

January 25, 1974-June 14, 2008

What is your main reason for exercise? Do you use it as a tool to help get through stressful/difficult times in your life?

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2 Comments

June 14, 2012 · 3:29 AM

2 responses to “In Memory of my Brother

  1. What a beautiful tribute to your brother!!! Are you planning a run today? I have a 4 mile run planned for tonight, I will dedicate it your brother’s legacy. On a much smaller scale running has helped me tremendously in getting through some emotional times in my life. Have a wonderfully healthy day celebrating your brother’s memory!!

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