First of all, thank you for all of the supportive responses to my last post. It means a lot to me that there are others of you who can relate, or at least send some positive vibes.
My mom was one of 13 kids. She was raised in a very musical home (here is my grandpa on PBS playing jazz piano, and my uncle Mark on bass. Mark is awesome and played bass with Meatloaf on Saturday Night Live! He is still a very active musician and producer).
My mom didn't play an instrument. When asked, "What do you play?", she would respond, "I play the sewing machine!"
Needless to say, she wasn't a huge athlete growing up. As an adult, she became a triathlete, and did running races and swam with the Masters. She used to tell me that exercise was the only way she could get a break from us kids! She always set a great example of a fit lifestyle, and right before she died she was in better physical shape than me! She kayaked, rode her road bike, swam, played lots of tennis (like 5-8 times a week), cross country skied, and ran. When she died, one of the things I took of hers were her running shoes. Mine were shot and I knew hers were in good shape. She had orthotics that fit under the insole, as she had broken her ankle while running about 10 years ago. In my head, I thought that they would help me too. I didn't take them out. I felt like they would somehow help me channel her energy while I was running, and that our feet were so similar, that why wouldn't they be beneficial? I felt weird taking them out, let alone throwing them away.
When I started training for a half marathon, I felt good. About 2 weeks in, my knees and ankles were really throbbing, even when I wasn't running. I quit training, and backed off of running for a little while. Then I realized maybe it was the inserts that were hurting me. I finally let myself think about them, and how possibly trying to keep part of my mom around was actually hurting me. I didn't want to take them out, it meant admitting she was really gone in ANOTHER way. I took them out, and I threw them away. I cried thinking about it, and in continuing to realize that she is gone. And yes, she is with me everyday, in different ways, and she is with me when I am sluggishly "running", or holding my babies, or eating too much candy, or laughing loudly, or ripping out my floor. When she first died, everyone told me that there was so much of her in me, and I am finally starting to feel that, and embrace it, and love it.