Monday, July 26th, 2021

Couch to 5K: Losing My Dad

By ML Broxton on Feb 25 2012 • Filed under Health

Couch to 5K: Losing My Dad (Photo: Michele Broxton)Last week*, I wrote to you from my Dad’s room at the hospital. It was late and he was resting after a really tough day for him. This week, I write to you from my couch. A little numb, a lot sad, and hanging on to my determination by a thread.


We were joined by a new running friend, Rhoda. She’s awesome and has been a local resident for a long time. As it turns out, she is the Mom of a girl I sang with in the Rolla High School choir many moons ago. We had taken my Dad to the Emergency Room Monday afternoon, so I texted the other Couch to 5K folks and let them know I wouldn’t be there. They ran without me and did an awesome job!


This afternoon, we lost my Dad. He had fought a long battle with numerous health concerns and his body just wore out on him. If you’ve lost a loved one, you will understand that there really aren’t words to describe it. I don’t even really think it’s sunk in yet because I almost called him today and, as I reached for my phone, remembered that he’s not there for me to call. I still have a voicemail he left me last week and I have listened to it a bunch of times. It’s not even an important message – it’s just unbelievable to me that he could be so full of life and then be gone…just like that.


Mom and I spent pretty much the entire day planning the funeral services, talking with friends and relatives, and cleaning her already spotless house. I wanted to crawl in bed and pull the covers up over my head, but seven o’ clock rolled around and I decided I was going to run. I’m five weeks into this thing and, if I quit now, I will have to start all over. Plus, my Dad definitely didn’t raise me to be a quitter, so I laced up my shoes and ran in all my exhausted, puffy-eyed glory.


Today seemed endless. We cleaned Mom’s house some more, answered the door and the phone about a hundred times, kept a list of who had sent food or done something thoughtful so we could send them a thank you card later, welcomed family and friends, I wrote Dad’s obituary, Mom washed and pressed Dad’s best shirt for him, and we all just waited for the inevitable – seeing Dad in the casket and saying our goodbyes.


We ran at The Centre in Rolla because Dad’s visitation was that night and we figured it would be too hot to run outside in the middle of the day. It was a good experience, except Susan and Dana lapped me a couple times. I’m a slow runner and it’s ok with me. I like to hit my pace, listen to my Praise music on the iPod and worship as I’m getting healthy. I almost raised my hands during one worship song, but the young girls playing volleyball below may have gotten a little skerred. 🙂


This morning was Dad’s actual funeral and everything else that weekend was a complete blur. We heated up food, put away food, did dishes, made I don’t know how many gallons of tea, hugged people, cried together, and fell into bed exhausted.
I don’t know what next week will bring but I can tell you this…I will be running. It helps me stay centered and gives me time to think and process.

Next week, I will tell you all about the emails we’ve gotten and the fabulous number of people who are working this program or making better health choices on their own. You are awesome!

* Last year, Michele decided to participate in the Couch to 5K program so she could run a marathon for charity. These articles are a diary of her experiences as she worked towards her goal between July and September of 2011.

See also:

Couch to 5k: Storms and Skinny Jeans (Week 4)

Couch to 5k: A Much Needed Do-Over (Week 3)

Couch to 5K: This is Why People Quit (Week 2)

Couch to 5K: Getting Started on Getting Fit (Week 1)

Couch to 5K: One Mom’s Journey Back to Health (Week 0)

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