Instead, my cousin Margaret and her two boys, Brian and Alexander, made the drive up from South Carolina for the week to help out. We had a great time and it was, in my opinion, the height of hilarity when the children greeted Margaret and were so overcome with excitement that they ran in to her arms, squealing. After exchanging hugs and kisses and great big, ear-to-ear smiles, Carolyn ran back to me and in a whisper asked, "Now, who is that again?"
This morning, after being with us for the past five days, Elizabeth sat on Margaret's lap and pleaded, "Please don't go. Please don't leave. We love you so much!" So I asked my daughter, "What is her name? Do you remember?" And Elizabeth said, "Of course I remember! Her name is Auntie Eileen!" Which Margaret appreciated a whole lot more than Henry, who insisted on calling her "grandmother" all week.
Ever since we ran (and I use the term "we" and "ran" very loosely since Margaret actually did run it while I mostly hobbled along hoping that the ambulance wouldn't pick me up before I got to the finish line) our marathon together in 2009, Margaret is a lean and mean running machine.
Her goal on this trip, was to get me back on the bandwagon of running and she spouted off a lot of things about upcoming races and how she had every intention, we'd do them together.
When they arrived, late on Tuesday night, Margaret quickly went to bed so that she could wake up early Wednesday morning and get in a run before the sunrise. She succeeded. However, that would be her only running success during the week because on Wednesday night, Thursday night, and Friday night we were up talking until at least 1 AM.
Last night, in addition to staying up until past midnight, talking, I whipped up a batch of double chocolate fudge brownies which I smothered in hot fudge and topped with a dollop of vanilla ice cream and whipped cream. As Margaret savored her brownie, I told her, "Welcome, my friend, to the dark side where the brownies are hot and the ice cream is sweet..."
Charlie and I are planning to resume P90X this weekend (no, seriously, I mean it this time!) because as much delicious fun as the dark side is, after almost two months of very abbreviated exercise, even my socks are starting to get a little snug.
While I didn't commit to participating in any of the race events with Margaret, one never knows what kind of insanity will grip my aging mind once I start seeing some results and my endurance increases. But there is no way I'm doing the "Goofy Challenge" with her at Disney next January. In my opinion, running 13.1 miles one day and 26.2 'tis a bit goofy.
In other outstanding news, my niece was released from the hospital earlier this week. Last Saturday night she was in the ICU. But this Saturday night, she is recovering at home with her family. Here's a message to our sweet Emily Rose from her cousins...
We're very happy that she is home again.
Thank you, again, for all of your prayers and well wishes.